With just 18 months left on their current contracts, the futures of both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at Arsenal is becoming a daily topic.
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This week alone Sanchez has been linked with a move to China on Wednesday, plus Real Madrid and Chelsea on Thursday, while another report from the Telegraph suggest the Gunners are willing to listen to offers for 28-year-old Ozil who isn’t willing to back down on his hopes of getting a $487,000 week contract at Arsenal where he is currently the top earner on $180,000.
To try and clear up any of the speculation Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger, who only has a contract at the Emirates until the end of the current season, has been speaking to the media about the reports.
Asked if Arsenal was willing to break their transfer structure, he said they’ll “do the maximum of what we can for every single player” to remain at the club.
He then reinforced the notion that Sanchez and Ozil would remain at Arsenal for at least 18 months, and hopefully much longer.
“Eighteen months is quite long in football. They have 18 months on their contracts and are completely committed to do well as long as they are here,” Wenger said. “Beyond that we will try to extend their contracts but I can’t make that a subject of every press conference as that is normal. These players have 18 months, they will be staying 18 months and hopefully much longer. I don’t believe that it is a problem.”
“A contract is between two parties and on my side the best position is to achieve it early. You have to accept that negotiations are private and secret and we don’t have to explain what we do with negotiations.”
Asked about the astronomical sums of cash reportedly being offered to Sanchez to go and play in the Chinese Super League — reports state the Chilean star has offers of $505,000 per week on the table — Wenger believed it was true but questioned why either would leave England.
“Why should you go to China when you are playing in England? We live in a world where the great players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil earn a lot of money and have the privilege to choose where they want to play,” Wenger said. “The commitment of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil is absolute total and I’m very pleased with that. We are professionals and the first quality is to give 100 percent, it is here and now, that is what it means to be professional and to be fully committed to the cause.”
So, Wenger is confident the superstar duo will stay. Should he be?
With Paul Pogba earning over $368,000 as the current top earner in the Premier League, it’s easy to see why Ozil and Sanchez believe they’re worth more than Pogba is currently earning at Manchester United.
Sanchez, 27, has been ripping it up this season, scoring 11 times in 14 PL outings and Ozil has already matched his goal tally from last season with eight strikes in all competitions.
Arsenal’s wage structure is said to be set at $250,000 per week, with an insistence on no player earning more than Wenger does.
Unless they change that stance it’s difficult to see how Sanchez and Ozil will remain at the Emirates Stadium with so many suitors from across the Premier League, Europe and worldwide willing to double, or even treble, their current wages.
Of course the Premier League is the most-watched in the world and there are many advantages to playing in it for Sanchez, Ozil and other superstars but money talks. If these huge offers from the Chinese Super League are true, why wouldn’t players move there to cash in on their relatively short playing careers?