Arsenal facing £290,000-a-week wage demand from Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez to match Paul Pogba salary

Arsenal's two most expensive signings are demanding nearly £300,000-a-week, but it could be a ploy to delay talks until their Champions League fate is settled

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The Independent Football

Arsenal could yet hold on to Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez beyond the end of the season after it emerged that they are demanding wages of nearly £300,000-a-week in order to rival Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba as the Premier League’s highest-paid player.

It’s expected that while Özil will commit his future to the club in the form of a new contract, Sanchez is likely to leave this summer, having grown frustrated with the club’s failure to challenge for the Premier League and European success. Both Özil and Sanchez are out of contract at the end of next season, and their futures are in serious doubt along with that of manager Arsene Wenger.

Özil spoke this weekend about his contract renegotiations, and insisted that they do not depend on what Wenger decides to do in the coming months, given his deal expires at the end of the season and he has not yet made up his mind on signing a two-year extension that has already been offered to him.

Now, the Evening Standard reports that an additional hold-up in contract talks has come in the form of Özil’s and Sanchez’s huge wage demands which would put them in the same region as United midfielder Pogba, who remains the most expensive ever signing.

The north London club are being asked to match their £290,000-a-week demands in order for the pair to commit their long-term futures to Arsenal, although the increase in salary demand could easily be a ploy to delay talks until the end of the season, where Arsenal will know if they are playing in the Champions League or not for 2017/18.

Arsenal currently have their European fate in their own hands, but must win both of their games in hand if they are to move back in front of Liverpool and into fourth place after falling five points behind Jürgen Klopp’s side.

Speaking to German newspaper Bild at the weekend following Arsenal’s 5-0 FA Cup victory over non-league Lincoln City on Saturday, Özil made it clear that the Champions League will weigh heavy in his decision whether to stay at or leave the club.

"As a sportsman, you are never satisfied," Özil said. "You need this motivation. I would very much like to win the Champions League one day, ideally with Arsenal. I still have a year left on my contract here."