We wake up to the news today throughly expecting to hear nothing but build up about tomorrow’s penultimate game of the season, the FA Cup final. Arsenal face Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley tomorrow and whilst the Gunners’ preparation on the pitch must be on point, it seems that they are also planning ahead in the boardroom.
After tomorrow’s final, whichever way the result swings, the Arsenal players will endure a little time away from competitive football and can enjoy their summer breaks from the game. For Arsene Wenger it is a huge summer of decisions if he is to leave the club after 20 years of Arsenal, whilst for Alexis and Ozil, they too will have to sit down and think about whether they want to remain at the Emirates.
Out of the pair, Alexis seems to be getting far more media attention surrounding his future than Ozil. Both players seem quite media shy, rarely wanting to give interviews and thus their future’s often remain un-clarified. However Alexis seems to be getting more attention because out of the two he is arguably the more important player for Arsenal, he’s the player gathering the more interest from other clubs and he commands more of a media interest.
Yesterday media reports were delivered across Germany and England that Bayern Munich had reportedly dropped their interest in the Chilean, after initial talks between Bayern officials and Alexis’ agent. It is supposedly Alexis’ wage demands that put the German’s off a deal, with £330k per week being the mentioned figure.
Today however we are hearing that Arsenal have been in touch with Alexis and his agent this week and have tabled a £270k per week offer for the South American star to stay. An element of this makes me believe it in the sense that the club did say they would sit down and talk at the end of the season and with tomorrow being the last day, the planning for the talks is just in place. Arsenal will be keen to hold such negotiations straight away, because they need to know as to whether they should be looking at selling Alexis and/or Ozil during this summer. Contract offers being ready on the table could be key in making sure these negotiations are swift.
The issue I have with this is that if we are considering this contract offer to be true, then does the speculation in Germany generate much thought. If Alexis’ truly does desire the rumoured £330k per week, then Arsenal’s £270k is obviously still not enough.
I don’t think Alexis is driven by money in the game, he just wants ambition and success. Therefore I think no matter how much money Arsenal offer him (realistically), if he isn’t convinced the club can challenge for major honours, then he won’t be staying this summer.