Alexis Sanchez has spoken for the first time about the ongoing contract situation at Arsenal.
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The Chilean forward, 27, has 18 months left on his current deal and Arsene Wenger is asked about the negotiations for both Sanchez and Ozil in every press conference.
Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) Wenger has accused journalists of “lacking in creativity” as he continues to be asked about Sanchez’s future, while reports suggesting big money contracts from Manchester City, $500,000 per week deals from China and elsewhere are being offered to the former Barcelona forward.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the trip to the Etihad, Sanchez has firmly placed the ball in Arsenal’s court.
“I’m focused more on winning football matches – I’m staying concentrated on that. It really doesn’t depend on me – if they want to show confidence in me. I’m very happy at the club. I love all the staff. I’m very grateful for everybody here,” Sanchez said. “It depends on Arsenal. I enjoy the relationship with the fans. I want to achieve more for them. I want to win the Premier League and the Champions League.”
“I’ve told my agent I don’t want to speak about this too much when all the rumors are going around – it can distract a player from their main focus of concentration. I’m playing well and scoring goals. I’m achieving my objectives. I’m just focused on playing football, Sunday is a very important match.
“I’ve got an agent who deals with all of this, so I just want to focus on making the fans happy. I’m very relaxed. I’m trying not to let it bother me – that’s not what I want. We’ll see when it’s all resolved – I’m very calm. I’ve told my agent I don’t want to speak about this sort of thing.”
So, that’s quite a big move from Sanchez to admit he doesn’t want his agent to talk to him about the contract situation for the foreseeable future. That could mean nothing will be sorted until the end of the season, which would leave Sanchez with just a year left on his deal at Arsenal.
It is reported that Sanchez’s representatives are asking for $362,000 per week, while Arsenal is offering $250,000. Sanchez currently earns $162,000.
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With Paul Pogba and Manchester United’s to stars all on over $300,000 per week, both Sanchez and Ozil feel like they deserve similar wages.
It’s hard to argue with that. Especially when it comes to Sanchez.
Whether he’s played out wide or more recently through the middle as the lone striker, Sanchez has excelled in his three seasons at the Emirates Stadium. This season he has scored 14 goals and has eight assists in 22 games in all competitions, with his importance to Arsenal clear.
For Arsenal’s fans who have seen Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and others move on after similar contract disputes in the past, they’ll be getting more nervous the longer this goes on.
From the outside looking in, wouldn’t it make more sense to lock Sanchez down to a long-term contract rather than spend $60-70 million to replace him and then pay someone else similar wages?
Sanchez should demand some of the highest wages in the Premier League and Arsenal need to deliver know they’re financially much more competitive after years of paying off the move to the Emirates Stadium.