Arsenal’s contract negotiations with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have reportedly “failed to progress” as planned and will not take place again until the summer.
That’s according to the Times‘ Matt Hughes, who noted the Gunners wanted “to avoid either player entering the final two years of their deals” and thus begun talks last year with the aim of wrapping them up before the end of the season. Further, the club are prepared to offer them lucrative five-year contracts worth £160,000 a week”significant pay-rises” for both players.
However, per Hughes (h/t Jonathan Green of the Daily Star), both Ozil and Sanchez “want assurances that areas of the squad will be strengthened and that the club are able to compete for the biggest trophies” before committing their futures.
Bayern Munich star Arturo Vidal is hoping his side will capitalise on the situation and sign his compatriot Sanchez amid speculation they could do so. Per Metro‘s Tom Olver, he said: “Hopefully. We have played together since playing for the under-20s, so it would be nice to play with him again!”
The duo are right to be concerned about the club as they enter their peak years at 27. Arsenal are all but mathematically out of the title race even with a game in hand on Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Even worse, to fail to even give either side a serious challenge for the Premier League trophy amid poor campaigns for all three of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United circumstances that may never repeat themselves, makes their campaign an unmitigated disaster.
Indeed, after drawing 1-1 with a struggling Crystal Palace side on Sunday Arsenal may not even come third, per Bleacher Report UK:
Ozil and Sanchez are the kind of players the Gunners need if they are to ever win a Premier League title again. As Squawka Football demonstrated, the former is a Player of the Year nominee, and with good reason:
Meanwhile, Sanchez has endured a difficult second season at the Emirates Stadium but has enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks, per OptaJoe:
For players of their quality, perpetually finishing around fourth place is not good enough, and it’s difficult to see that changing without further recruitment of top players. The Times‘ Henry Winter believes as much, and Squawka Football shared how Ozil will benefit if they do so:
Unfortunately for the players and Gunners fans alike, manager Arsene Wenger yet again seems reluctant to dip into the transfer market. According to Green, he said:
No [there will not be many changes in the summer]. If you look at the top three teams, you will see they have not changed their team a lot.
The core is not good enough? That’s an outside point of view. We have again to analyse it in an objective way. And this team has won many games and the quality of many games was at top level.
Such a statement will undoubtedly provide yet more frustration to exasperated Arsenal supporters, and it is comments such as these that could lead to stars such as Ozil and Sanchez deciding to leave, likely due to a perceived lack of ambition.
If the Gunners fail to do significant business in the transfer market yet again this summer, they will not only find their chances of success restricted next season all of their rivals are likely to strengthen and at least two will have new managers but also find their ability to attract and keep the best players will likely diminish as time goes on.