There has been much wrangling and gnashing of teeth over the terms of Arsenal’s contract extension offers to both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who will be entering the last year of their contracts in June. But suddenly the Chinese League is totally distorting the amount of wages on offer to some of the biggest stars in the world, and it could make them think they should be earning the same amount in the Premier League.
The ridiculous sums on offer was highlighted by Ozil in his new book, where he revealed: “When I got an offer from China last summer I didn’t need advice because the offer was too absurd,”
“The Chinese were prepared to pay me £100 million net over a period of five years.
“A fairy tale amount of money that went beyond the limits of my imagination.”
That would stretch anyone’s imagination and could turn the heads of even the highest earners in the European Leagues. That amount works out to an incredible £380,000-a-week after tax, an amount that would bankrupt most clubs in the Premier League.
After being offered that amount, we could understand why Ozil wants a substantial increase on his paltry £120,000 a week that he is earning now at Arsenal. But we could imagine that Ozil turned the offer down in the hope that he could win a big trophy or two with Arsenal in the biggest League in the world. As Wenger said when asked about the lure of China: “I think every club and every player has to make decisions. Where are your priorities, where do you want to play? I think the first priority for top players is play to best football with the best players in the best league. You go to China because you earn big money, but you make big money in England as well. So the best combination of playing at the top and earning big money is in England at the moment. So China for me is not a debate.”
It certainly is a debate when they are offering sums of money like that. Wenger did have this to say about the Chinese wages: “It certainly contributes to the imagination of the players.”
And there we have the crux of the matter. Players simply want more money….