Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club are in negotiations with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez over new contracts, but says that most of the talking is done to the agents at this point.
Each player has their team of people to thrash out the details, before the player comes along at the end to dot the Is and cross the Ts.
Speaking tonight, the Arsenal manager reiterated the obvious desire to keep both his star players and said the process is ongoing.
“Nowadays, you negotiate with the agents more than with the player,” he said.
“We are in negotiations, yes. The players are 18 months away from the end of their contracts, so it’s normal.
“But the players always come in at the end, when it’s a renewal. With the first contract you need the players, but after that, when you renew, 90% of the contracts are negotiated with the agents.”
Reports earlier today suggested that Ozil and Sanchez want parity with some of the Premier League’s top earners, and there’s little doubt it will take a serious pay-rise to get them to stay.
However, Wenger believes there’s more to it all than money.
“I would like to say the luxury of the modern game should be that it’s not only about the money, because the players make anyway wherever they play good money at this level,” he said.
“I believe, personally … maybe I am a bit naïve, but it’s more about getting to meet the players’ needs.
“That’s about the way the club has values, the way the club has ambition, the way the club respects the players. So I think, for me, that is more important nowadays and an important ingredient for every player to consider.
“The money is good everywhere for everybody.”
Which is a fair point, but also means that if the money is not good enough somewhere, they have an easy solution.
Let’s hope the club convince these guys the future is red and white.