Arsene Wenger has played down suggestions Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are on the cusp of penning contract extensions at Arsenal by revealing negotiations have yet to take place.
A story in this morning’s Mirror claimed Alexis was about to agree a deal that would keep him at the Emirates until 2020 with Ozil set to follow suit soon after.
“We have not started to talk about that with Mesut,” clarified Wenger at his pre-West Brom press conference.
“We are in the same situation [with Alexis]. At the end of the year they have two-and-a-half years left on their contract so we still have some time.
“We are not in a hurry. Of course we want them to stay here at the club and we will start the negotiations at some stage. At the moment we have not started them.
“From the New Year to the summer we will certainly start it [talks] with all the players who have two years to go at the end of the season.”
Asked if the Gunners are now in a better position to embark on negotiations than in previous years, when the likes of Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie pushed for early exits, the boss continued:
“Look, that depends sometimes on age. Yes, the difference is that today we are in a stronger position to negotiate than we were at that stage.”
So we’ll have to wait and see what happens on the contract front. There’s no doubt Ozil and Alexis are high up the list of priorities alongside Nacho Monreal.
Most of the rest of the squad have been tied down to long-term deals in the recent past, it’s worth remembering though that the delicate balance of power in the modern game means contracts are often rendered useless if a player goes public on a desire to move elsewhere. We’re not saying that’s on the cards with any of the current squad…a huge relief given the way things have panned out previously.