Arsenal fear that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will not agree new contracts at the club, according to the Daily Star.
What’s the story?
The futures of Ozil and Sanchez have dominated the transfer gossip pages in the last few months as neither have penned new deals as yet.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has publicly declared a handful of times that the club are in negotiations with the players’ camps regarding fresh terms.
However, the Daily Star claims that talks have stalled, with both players demanding a huge hike in salary.
The publication reports that the duo are using Paul Pogba’s apparent £290,000-a-week wages as a tool to persuade the North London outfit to meet their financial demands.
The problem for the Gunners, though, is that offering the two players such a big increase would reportedly ruin the pay structure that they currently have in place.
Due to the current impasse in negotiations, the Daily Star claims that figures within the Arsenal setup are worried that neither Ozil nor Sanchez will sign new deals.
Should Arsenal give in to their demands?
In this day and age, transfer fees are ridiculously excessive and wages are astronomically high, but clubs need to pay up if they want to become or remain serious challengers for silverware.
Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since the 2003-04 season, and in recent years their title campaign has always crumbled.
The North London outfit are regular top-four finishers, but they are in danger of falling behind the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City if they cannot match wages.
Arsenal have lost big names in the past – Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas among them – but if Sanchez, in particular, ends up departing, it is difficult to see how the club could replace the attacker.
The danger for the Gunners is that Sanchez and Ozil have 18 months remaining on their current deals, so if neither pen fresh terms, the club will have to sell at the end of the season or risk losing them for free at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Ozil poured doubt over his future when he suggested in an interview with Kicker that his future is dependent on whether Wenger is still manager next season.
The French coach’s current deal expires in the summer.