We’re not sure if this makes positive or grim reading for Arsenal fans, but The Times are claiming that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are willing to commit to new contracts at the club, as long as the Londoners pay them £250,000-per-week.
— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) October 6, 2016
Well, we sit up and take notice when The Times drop a news story, and this one really is interesting. Indeed, the respected newspaper claim that as Arsenal’s attempts to tie Sanchez and Ozil down to new, long-term contracts, rumble on the pair are willing to commit for £500,000-per-week – £250,000-per-week apiece. That’s a whole heap of cash.
Talks are set to continue over the current international break, but one thing’s clear, committing to the deals will cost Arsenal £140,000-per-week more than they were initially expecting, with both players’ demands now £70,000-per-week over initially discussed £180,000-per-week figures.
Although it may seem like the attacking stars are holding their club to ransom, both are thought to be aware of inflating wages across the Premier League due to the new TV deal, while the falling value of the pound is believed to have hit foreign players hardest.
Well, The Times have been running hard with this story for a while now, with their update back in August having revealed that there were ‘issues’ between the parties negotiating. It appears that the Gunners remain eager to tie both men down to new contracts, as they, quite understandably, want to keep them around.
In the case of Ozil, Bild have claimed that he would be open to re-joining Real Madrid (although their desire to re-sign him is not really known), suggesting that he’s already weighing up his options, of which there would many. Sanchez too has been aligned with a move, with Sport having claimed over the summer that he wanted to join Juventus and that he had informed Arsene Wenger of his wishes. Although this seems sensationalist, there may be some desire on the part of the Chilean to move on in search of trophies, with the attacker known to be fiercely competitive and ambitious.
The simple answer is probably not. Maybe the Gunners could adjust in the event they lose one of the pair, but to see both move on (which you would assume would be the case before too long if the club are unable to tie them down to new deals) would be catastrophic.
As the numbers above show, Sanchez and Ozil were by far and away the Gunners’ key attacking midfielders last season. The pair led the way in terms of goals and assists and heavily outranked their positional rivals with their overall score. It could be argued that replacing both is possible in the transfer market, but to sign the calibre of player needed would set Wenger back well over £100m.
Almost certainly. In the current climate Arsenal have the money, so keeping their two most important players should be a no-brainer. When rivals such as Yaya Toure earn well over £200,000-per-week, the pair have every right to ask for comparable salaries – although that seems an unedifying sentence on reflection!