When you talk about the prospect of new contracts at Arsenal Football Club, only two names really spring to mind. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, arguably the two biggest talents and fan favourites at the club are nearing closer to being in a difficult situation contract wise. Both players have deals that will be nearing their expiration date soon, and as a result there is a lot of pressure for Arsene Wenger and co to begin intense negotiations to get the players to sign new contracts with the club.
The issue is that it isn’t quite so simply as to say ‘sign on the dotted line’, especially considering that reports suggest both players are demanding wages that Arsenal aren’t necessarily willing to offer. It’s understood from the latest reports doing the rounds that both players are keen to earn over £300k per week, although of course this remains unconfirmed. It would be a massive financial decision for the club to make and one that could prove vital to the likelihood of short term success.
But would it surprise you to know that these aren’t the only two players that Arsenal are fearful of in regards to soon to expire deals, with at least another ‘six or seven’ big name players at the club all having deals that currently run until the summer of 2018. In addition to Alexis and Ozil, Arsenal also have to look into the contracts of Mertesacker, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs and Debuchy; whilst also not forget those on loan in Wilshere and Szczesny.
In my opinion, Mertesacker may not be offered a new deal due to age and fitness, whilst Cazorla may also face the same fate if he cannot get over his persistent injury concerns. Debuchy is very unlikely to get a new contract, but I’d expect Gibbs and Chamberlain to be relatively high on the priority list. Szczesny’s future may hang in the balance, but i think Wenger will bring the shotstopper back to replace either Cech or Ospina in the not too distant future. Wilshere will also be offered a new deal.
According to the Metro, Arsene Wenger was able to confirm that the Gunners have plenty of contract negotiations lined up, with the club looking to extend many contracts as soon as possible. Wenger is quoted as saying: ‘That explains to you why we have a lot of work to do, but you are only interested in two cases [Ozil and Alexis]. There are six or seven cases at the moment, but that is the usual case — it is every year like that. We have started talking to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and we start as well, and will extend certainly, with Santi Cazorla.’
Despite initial feelings that Cazorla may have to prove his fitness, it seems Wenger is willing to offer the Spaniard a new deal, although it’s likely to be the one year extension Le Prof is famous for offering 30+ year old players. Cazorla is still very valuable to our team and we don’t seem to play the same way without him so it’ll be extremely good for the Gunners if he manages to prove that fitness isn’t becoming an issue for him. An extension for Oxlade-Chamberlain is also welcomed by the club, especially after a good spell of form this season.
2018 may seem like a while away now, but with 2017 just around the corner it leaves Arsenal around 18 months to negotiate new deals. With more and more players from today’s game frequently running down their deals to get the move they want or to leave for free, it is a real concern if Arsenal haven’t tied up their contracts with a year to go.
Assuming that Ozil and Alexis are the main priority, who should Arsene Wenger consider talking to next?