Mesut Ozil has fuelled speculation he could make a sensational move back to former club Real Madrid by revealing his is “in contact” with Zinedine Zidane.
The German midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season, and while the Gunners are confident he will agree a new deal, the clock is ticking.
And in an interview with FootballMgzn, the 29-year-old was gushing about his respect for the French footballing legend.
He said: “The way he [Zidane] interpreted and directed his game has fascinated me and still fascinates me.
“His technique and his creativity were outstanding. As a youth player I wanted to be like him.
“When I got to Real Madrid and met him, my hands were sweating and I was nervous.
“But Zidane was very kind and positive. We still have contact from time to time.”
It was Carlo Ancelotti whom sold Ozil to the Gunners back in 2013 in a transfer that stunned the Premier League.
And while he continues to split opinion, Ozil has become an assist king in his time at The Emirates.
In his last game in the 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield, Ozil was one of the star men, and drew praise from his current boss Arsene Wenger.
The French gaffer said: “Everybody knows that Mesut is a great football player but in the last two games against Spurs and again tonight he has added something that people want to see and shown that he can fight and win the ball back.
“Once the supporters see you doing that then they automatically get behind you.
“How have I convinced him to do that? My job is to encourage people to fight.
“He has always covered the distances but maybe now he is at an age where he understands what is more and what is less important.
“I don’t know if the criticism has hurt him in the past and the judgements are sometimes harsh in this job.
“But overall the majority here have always loved him because he is always available and he always wants the ball.
“He never hides behind other players but of course there are nine other players in the team and if you are dominated it is not all down to one player.”
But with no new deal signed, the German playmaker may well be heading to pastures new for the 2018/19 season.