Arsene Wenger has hinted the club are struggling in their attempts to extend Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez’s contracts and admits the Gunners have always found it difficult to keep hold of their best players.
The two players are key to the club’s hopes of success but both are yet to agree extensions to their current deals which expire in 2018, despite Wenger admitting he is keen for them to stay.
Wenger revealed after Saturday’s 3-2 win over Swansea that Ozil wants to remain at the club while also joking the club will need a “good bank” to be able to afford to keep the Germany interntional
The Frenchman returned to that theme during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Ludogorets when discussing player contract negotiations and hinted at interest in the duo, and potentially Hector Bellerin, from elsewhere.
“It was always difficult. Honestly, what has changed is the size of the numbers but the difficulty was always the same,” he told Arsenal’s official website.
“It’s always difficult to keep the good players because they are wanted by other clubs and it’s normal as well that the players try to get the maximum out of their negotiations because they have 10 years to play at the top level if all goes well. So it has always been difficult, you know, just the numbers have changed.”
Wenger’s latest comments are likely to fill fans with alarm, particularly having seen players such as Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas leave the club in recent seasons. Ozil and Sanchez are absolutely vital to the Gunners’ hopes of success and the club simply must spend big if they are to keep them at the club.