Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has today claimed that the situation surrounding Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil is good for the club, describing it as ‘ideal’.
The Gunners duo have been linked with the exit door for over a season, with contract negotiations having broken down prior to the previous campaign.
The initial expectation was that we didn’t want to allow the pair to enter into the final 24 months of their contract, and be held to ransom over their futures, but we now appear willing to force them to play out their contracts. At least that is Wenger’s insinuation.
Wenger said: “Is it an issue? Not at all. It is an ideal situation. Everybody has to perform.
“In the future I think you will see that more and more, players going into the last year of their contract.
“Why? Because transfer fees being so high, even for normal players, nobody will want to pay the amount of money demanded, more and more players will go to the end of their contracts.
“I’m convinced in the next 10 years it will become usual.”
He added: “When you’re a football player you perform until the last day of your contract. Whether you have two or one years left it doesn’t change. You want to play and do well.
“Do you really think they sit in the dressing room and think: ‘Oh I have one year to go I will not play well today’.
“Where does that come from? When you are a football player you want to play well, what does that have to do with the length of your contract. It’s a bit amazing to me. So long as you work you do well.”
Pressed on whether he feared it meant too many of his players would be busy negotiating a move away, he said: “Even if it happens, it doesn’t matter.
“It’s normal. Nobody knows if Sanchez will not extend his contract with us as well here.
“The performance on the day doesn’t depend on the length of contract. If that was true we’d sign everybody for 20 years.
“One day he will go. We will all go. And Arsenal will go on.”
This saga has gone on too long now, and hopefully this will finally put to bed any belief that Alexis Sanchez is going to leave the club in the current window. He returns to training on Monday, and will hopefully be able to feature in the Community Shield next weekend.
Does this finally mean Alexis is staying this summer? Will Alexis and Ozil have to work harder this season, especially if they are pursuing a push to move clubs next summer?