Arsenal news: Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez will make contract decisions based on results, says Arsene Wenger

Özil and Sanchez will move into the final year of their contracts at the end of the season with Wenger detemined to extend their Arsenal careers

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The Independent Football

Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez will decide their Arsenal futures based on the club’s performance on the pitch and not their ability to command one of the biggest contracts in the Premier League, says Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal’s two marquee players will head into the final year of their contracts at the end of the season, and Wenger has made no secret of Arsenal’s desire to tie both Özil and Sanchez down to new contracts before that happens.

Negotiations between club and players has been slow so far though, with talks put on hold last season so that the club’s ambition in the transfer market could be analysed before proceeding. Arsenal’s additions of Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi, along with the signings of Lucas Perez and Rob Holding, appear to have appeased any concerns Özil and Sanchez had, and Wenger has appeared increasingly confident that new deals will be concluded as each week goes by.

One major problem though was the large wage increase reportedly wanted by both players that emerged in the wake of the Brexit vote. Reports suggested that Özil and Sanchez were demanding £250,000-a-week to extend their contracts until 2020, with the diminishing value of the pound causing the pair to up their original salary demands.

Yet Wenger said on Tuesday that money is not a factor when it comes to Özil and Sanchez because they are already very rich individuals, and instead what matters most to them is what they see on the pitch.

“I think these kind of players can raise a little bit above the financial aspect of the game because they are not poor and they have to look really on the football side,” Wenger said ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.

“Do the club meet their needs on the football front and if 'yes' then a Premier League club can find an agreement with the players.”

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil ask for higher wages after Brexit

Wenger was keen to stress though that Arsenal’s improved financial condition does not mean the club will be held to ransom in negotiations, suggesting that the £250,000-a-week figures batted about were wide of the mark. Özil is the club’s highest earning player at £140,000-a-week, and the World Cup winner takes home £10,000 more than Sanchez does – with only Wenger earning more than them.

Theo Walcott is the next highest earner at £120,000-a-week, and should Arsenal decide to pay both Özil and Sanchez the salary that has been batted about, it create a huge divide among the playing squad’s salaries.

 


“We still keep the values we have and we pay what we can afford,” Wenger added.

“We have a scale of wages but it has become a bit more individual. It has always been difficult to keep the good players. They are wanted by other clubs and it’s normal they try to get the maximum out of their negotiations because they have 10 years to play at the top level if all goes well. My whole life I fight to get the players paid as much as I can.

“Basically when they sign a contract for four years, they sign for two because of the simple fact that just to keep the value of the player you have to extend the contract.”

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