Will Arsenal really let Ozil and Alexis run down their contracts?

There was some interesting statements from Arsene Wenger in today’s Arsenal v Stoke City pre-match press conference, and the one that most of the media took up on was what Le prof said about the ongoing contract discussions with our two star players, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

There has been much speculation, especially about Alexis, in the media with rumours that Chelsea and apparently some rich Chinese club are willing to offer outlandish wages to induce him to refuse a new contract at the Emirates, so it was little surprise that Wenger was asked about these two stars. This is what he was reported as saying on Arsenal.com: “They have been hugely important. You can talk a lot in the press conference but the most important thing is what the players do on the pitch. The commitment of Alexis and Ozil is absolutely totally for the team’s benefit and I’m very pleased with that.

“We are professional football people and people forget many times that the first quality of a professional guy is to give absolutely 100 per cent as long as he is somewhere, and not to project yourself on two years. It’s here and now, that’s what it means to be professional – here and now I’m fully committed to the cause and that’s what it’s about.”

So what did Le Prof have to say about their ‘long-term’ futures? “It depends what you call the long term.” he said. “Eighteen months [left on their contracts] is quite long in football.”

“They have 18 months left on their contracts and they are completely committed to doing well as long as they are here. Beyond that, we’ll try to extend their contracts but I cannot make that the subject in every press conference because it’s a normal part of every renewal when you renegotiate. The less you talk about it, the better it is.

But of course the media don’t stop asking the questions, so they duly asked him if disliked discussing contracts with his players. “No.” he replied. “It has always been a part of my job and it has always been difficult. But the problem is when the players have a big name, it’s a repetition of always the same things because you are always asked exactly the same things. But that doesn’t improve the speed of the negotiations. It doesn’t improve the speed of decision making. You have to respect the process in every single negotiation. Sometimes it goes very quick, sometimes it’s slow. The only handicap when it’s slow is that you get that served in every press conference.”

He was then pressed as to whether the longer the contract talks went on, did it create any uncertainty in the Gunners dressing room. He replied: “No, because we are all professionals. Eighteen months is a long time in the game and I don’t believe that that is any problem.”

So that is twice that Wenger mentioned the figure of 18 months, but that would imply that he is willing to cntinue trying to extend their contracts in the final year of their current deal. But is that feasible? Surely the two of them would both have to agree an extension before the start of next season? Would Arsenal really let them both run down their contracts rather than sell them to finance the price of their replacements?

I know Arsenal are now financially stable, but I certainly can’t see Stan Kroenke agreeing to stump up for their replacements without recouping a great deal of the cost from selling on their contracts. Do you?



  1. Jansen says:

    It would be stupid in many ways to force them to play out their contract.

    1. Financially it would be unwise
    2. Ozil and Sanchez would likely not give their best in the final year as a result of motivation and worry about injury and anger about lost wages
    3. It would ruin the atmosphere in the dressing room and possibly poison the minds of the Bellerin’s
    4. It would put extra attention on the fact that big stars don’t want to play for Arsenal making recruitment of big players harder.

    IMO if we can’t afford to pay them what they are worth, and they are worth a lot more than 200/week, try to sell one and keep one. For my money sell Ozil and keep Sanchez in that case.

    Best case scenario; pay them both what they are worth and be done with it. Wage inflation in football will continue with the absurd amount of money going around, thinking Ozil and Sanchez will sign on for 200/week seems naive.

    1. Budd says:

      Is not stupid at all. By the time they finish the contract with us they will be 29, respectively 30 years old. If someone is giving you a 200k/week fro for year in the best league in the world you, as a real professional will take it. If you are after the money you go to China get loaded and have a nice life.
      The best Arsenal can do is to exactly run down their contract, for the first time, no matter what media says, Arsenal is in front. It will depend exactly on their last year performance if teams will go after them or not. Arsenal have absolutely nothing to lose. In fact, is the teams looking after them in 18 months from now that have absolutely everythibg to lose. Remember, they will sign up a 30 years old player.
      I would say, good on Arsenal if they stick to their guns. Which is, allegedly, 200k/week.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Not necessarily, image rights, sponsor deals, champions league football. The money players make isn’t all tied up in that weekly wage. In China they wont be the same superstars that they are in Europe, they’ll be superstars over in China but they are already minting money from that region without have to live there. In Europe, once they leave no-one will care how he’s lobbed Bruce lee with a rainbow kick. I absolutely think China is out of the question, especially when you consider how he’ll have an offer from over there even when he’s thirty five, he could go then and they’d still give him a five year contract.

  2. G-Rude says:

    Arsenal are not cash strapped any more and can afford to double their wages, but the problem is that other players will think that they are worth nearly as much and will hold Arsenal to ransom.

    But I think you are right that if we had to choose between Ozil and Alexis we would prefer Alexis to stay, but in my head I know Ozil is the one mostly likely to sign than Sanchez

  3. jermaineBryan says:

    Put yourself in there shoes wenger may not be here come next season.
    Does whoever coming in have the pulling power of wenger for signings?
    The only thing they have to show for there time here is 2fa cups?
    Are they waiting to see if this club can win bigger trophies this season?
    Are other top players joining Arsenal or showing interest in coming?

    1. Break-on-through says:

      People who don’t agree with that should take a look at Klopp, he’s one of the worlds top managers and he’s at a club that spends overall similarly to ourselves, in fact liv have people on higher wages than our highest now. Liv were giving more over the past three or so seasons than what Ozil gets now. I think Gerard was on 200. What pulling power has Klopp shown for Liv, I believe if these managers swapped clubs a time back, Liv would have bigger names than they have now, they might even have Alexis Sanchez. Utd Che City, with those clubs the money is too big to say what pulling power a manager has, Pep all the same I’d imagine has allot. Liv is a club we can make a fair comparison with. Money will always be a factor, but Wenger is for many players a dream or suitable manager whether people wan to admit it or not. We’ve heard so many of them say ‘I wanted to improve my game and I believe Arsene can help’.

  4. Big Gun says:

    This is why Arsenal must win the league this season. If we do, we will have no problem keeping our best players. It has taken Wenger years and years to finally build a decent well balanced squad. To have Sanchez and Ozil go because ‘we can’t afford them’ would be throwing the last three to four years away because not only have those two players made us a better and more competitive team, they are also a draw card for more world class players to join. Pay them what they want, we are supposedly the fourth most financially stable club in the world. We need to keep building on these types of players, and quite honestly who is a better playmaker than Ozil? I can only think of three or four others in the whole world. Who is a better forward than Sanchez? Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and perhaps one or two more. So we have two top top players we must keep them at all costs.

  5. sohara says:

    We have 10 players that will be negotiating their new contracts this year, its ‘possible’ that the club does not want to agree mega deals for Ozil Sanchez before tying down other essential players to new contracts…….well this is what I am hoping…. Get the other contracts done, then pay Sanchez & Ozil what they want. Whatever happens we MUST NOT lose Sanchez

    1. Jansen says:

      sohara, I agree with trying to keep Sanchez above all. I don’t think the likes of Wilshire, Ox, Santi and Giroud could have the same type of demands as Ozil and Sanchez.

      Santi, as much as he is one of my favorites, knows he is probably playing in his final seasons and at his age and with his recent injury record, his best is behind him whilst Ozila and Sanchez are in their prime.

      Wilshire should just be happy to get back to the mothership and get a new contract.

      Ox is finally starting to show some signs of consistent positive contribution but he has not proven anything like Ozil and Sanchez.

      Giroud should be happy to get a new contract offer at his age.

      So in my view the only two players with real leverage are Ozil and Sanchez, they deserve to be paid outside of our wage structure. The others don’t.

  6. sohara says:

    Jansen I agree with you 100%, I was just trying to suggest that the reason for the delay in Arsenal paying Ozil & Sanchez the money they want, is that they don’t want these other players then demanding more, and that ‘hopefully’ once they are all signed up, Arsenal will pay Sanchez & Ozil whats necessary to keep them. Ok I may still be ‘dreaming’ 🙂 🙂 but I really hope this will all be sorted soon, I hate all this uncertainly…its not easy being an Arsenal fan sometimes

    Do you think Arsene Wengers contract could be a factor in all this?

  7. Onochie says:

    We are seeing the effects of years of stagnation,and I would blame the club,for not making the quality acquisitions they made this season last three years ago,had the club surrounded Ozil+ Sanchez with quality players then we would have won the league and none of them would dare think of leaving. That’s the part that the club failed and the effects are now showing……think about it,if you were Ozil and Sanchez,you say you are a world class player,your friends and co players would ask you “let’s see your trophy cabinet” and all you could show is 2fa cups,not even a runner up in champions league or something like that. Its too poor for the club

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