Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that it is an “ideal situation” to have the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the final year of their contracts, reports talkSPORT.
The futures of both players have been shrouded in doubt for months as neither have committed themselves to a new contract.
They are arguably two of the most valuable players in the squad, not only in terms of ability but in a financial sense.
If both stay at the club without signing new deals, the pair will be free to leave for nothing next summer.
From Wenger’s perspective, though, he deems it a positive situation because it forces players to perform.
In quotes picked up by the widespread media, including talkSPORT, the Frenchman said:
“I think in the future you will see that more and more; players going to the end of their contracts. Why? Because transfers become so high, even for normal players, that you will see more and more players going to the end of their contract because nobody will want to pay the amount of money that is demanded and I am convinced that in the next 10 years that will become usual.
“I think it’s an ideal situation. Everybody has to perform. When you are a football player you perform until the last day of your contract. What does it change that you have two years or one year to go? You go out on the football pitch, you want to play and to do well. I don’t understand.”
It would make sense from a buying club’s perspective for players to run down their contracts because then they do not have to fork out staggering amounts for their top target.
For Wenger to describe it as an “ideal situation” is bizarre considering that he could lose two of his best players.
It appears that the 67-year-old was looking at the business side of football as a whole rather than Sanchez and Ozil individually, but his remarks would not fill Arsenal fans with much hope.
Wenger is right to say that players should perform until the final day of their contracts, but it is arguable that most would not want to leave themselves in a position of uncertainty.
Not knowing whether a new contract offer is on the table or if a club will sign them come the summer could create a sense of anxiety, and could therefore affect their focus on the pitch.
With regards to Sanchez and Ozil, Wenger’s comments do not suggest that either are close to penning fresh terms at the Emirates.