Mesut Ozil nor Alexis Sanxhez will be sold by Arsenal, even if they do not sign contract extensions, says Arsene Wenger.
The Arsenal duo are entering the final 18 months of their deals at the Emirates, but Wenger remains hopeful of keeping them beyond summer 2018.
Talks are supposedly ongoing, but Wenger has offered no assurances to the fans that the club will be able to tie them down to new deal. The Frenchman did, however, make it clear when speaking ahead of the game against Stoke City this weekend that he is prepared to lose both for nothing rather than selling the pair:
‘No matter what happens they will stay for 18 months and hopefully for much longer.’
When asked about the reported huge offer from China for Sanchez’s services, Wenger said:
‘Why should you go to China today when you play in England?’
Ozil and Sanchez’s contract negotiations have been well documented in recent months and questions continue to be thrown at Wenger about when and if the duo will sign new deals. The Frenchman replied:
‘You ask always the same things, but that doesn’t improve the speed of negotiations.
‘You have to respect the process – sometimes it’s quick, sometimes slow and the only handicap when it’s slow is you get asked in every press conference.’
Despite the daily coverage of the Ozil and Sanchez’s contract situation, Wenger says both remain completely focused at the task at hand and remain ‘completely committed’:
‘We are professionals – 18 months is a long time in the game and I don’t believe that is a problem.’
Wenger finished off by saying the club will do their best to keep both attacking players, but Arsenal’s final offer will be the best one they can offer:
‘It’s normal to negotiate. The less you talk about it the better it is.’
Wenger’s comments may worry a few of the Arsenal faithful as he is being very coy on the matter. It almost comes across as if he doesn’t care whether Ozil or Sanchez sign new deals.
Arsenal must get these deals done, ideally, before the end of January just to put the minds of the Arsenal faithful at ease. If both players do not sign new terms by then, or even at the end of the season, then the Gunners are highly likely to lose the pair for nothing the following summer, and that would just be heart-breaking.
Contract negotiations do usually take some time but, hopefully, these ones don’t drag on.