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Arsenal have confirmed that Mesut Ozil has signed a new long-term contract with the club, with the German saying “I let my heart decide” his future.

The Premier League club made the announcement on Thursday, officially ending 18 months of speculation surrounding the German’s future.

Although Arsenal did not specify the length of the deal, Ozil confirmed he had signed for three more seasons, tying him to the club until 2021.

Ozil’s existing contract had been due to expire in the summer, which meant he had been free to sign a pre-contract abroad beginning last month.

“It’s been one of the most important decisions of my footballing career, and that’s why I had to think hard and talk with everyone who’s important to me,” Ozil wrote on social media.

“Good things take time! In the end, I let my heart decide. As I always said, I feel at home here and I’m highly motivated to achieve big things in the next few years. Once a Gunner, always a Gunner!”

A source close to the player told ESPN FC on Wednesday that the new deal will more than double Ozil’s previous wages and make the 29-year-old the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history at about £350,000 a week before tax.

Arsenal’s other recent signings, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, both reportedly signed deals worth £180,000 a week before tax.

Ozil turned down interest from Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona — as well as a huge offer from Chinese Super League club Guangzhou worth £25 million a year, the source said.

The deal is a massive boost to Arsenal following Alexis Sanchez’s decision to leave for Manchester United this week, especially with the Gunners languishing in sixth place in the Premier League.

Arsenal had been trying to convince Ozil to commit his long-term future since the summer of 2016, and Arsene Wenger had hinted in recent weeks that a deal was close.

Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.