Alexis Sanchez looks set to reject Arsenal’s latest contract offer even though it includes a £50,000-a-week pay rise, as he is determined to hold out for a weekly deal worth a quarter of a million pounds.
Both Sanchez and Mesut Özil are locked in negotiations with Arsenal over extending their current contracts, which only have 18 months left to run. The fear for the Gunners is that they could see Sanchez and Özil reach the summer with just a year remaining on their deals, which would then put the club in a precarious position to either sell them to a potential rivals or risk losing them in 2018 on a free transfer if they are unable to reach an agreement.
Talks initially began earlier this year but with Özil heading to the European Championships with Germany and Sanchez featuring in Chile’s successful Copa America campaign, Arsenal were happy to put negotiations on the backburner.
However, now those talks have become the focal point of Arsenal’s season, and are beginning to become an unwelcome distraction off the pitch that could have a major impact on it.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have now made a new offer to Sanchez worth £180,000-a-week, a significant increase on his current £130,000-a-week deal. But the 27-year-old and his representatives will hold out for at least £250,000-a-week before they agree a new contract that will run until 2021, leaving both parties locked in further negotiations.
Neither Arsenal nor Sanchez will cut off talks though, and the likelihood is that Arsenal will improve their offer to their star player this season. Sanchez has scored 14 goals and laid on eight assists in 22 appearances, and helped Arsenal top their Champions League group to qualify for the last-16 as well as maintain their title challenge – though Tuesday’s defeat by Everton came as a setback that leaves them six points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
The Chile international has an off from China believed to be worth £400,000-a-week that is being used to strengthen Sanchez’s case for a vastly improved deal at the Emirates. Arsenal would not be in a position to pay Sanchez such a lucrative deal – which would dwarf the Premier League’s top earner in Paul Pogba and his £290,000-a-week salary – but they do have enough money to meet his current demands as well as give Özil a similar increase.
It emerged last week that the two players’ agents have been discussing talks in an effort to work together and get the best deals for their clients, and given that Arsene Wenger has repeatedly insisted that neither will be sold even if they reach the final year of their contracts, the club are expected to increase their offers in the coming weeks.
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