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Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez playing against Crystal Palace..

Arsenal facing fight to keep Alexis Sanchez & Mesut Ozil

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Arsenal are facing a fight to keep Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the club after contract talks with the pair were called off until the summer, reports The Times.

The Gunners were keen to make sure neither of their marquee players entered the final two years of their contracts and opened negotiations last year.

It is believed that Arsenal are prepared to offer both players a significant pay-rise. Currently on £140,000-a-week each, their new five-year deals would have seen them earn £160,000-a-week plus bonuses, but it seems the stalwarts want more than just money.

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With Arsenal's Premier League title challenge all but over, both Sanchez and Ozil want assurances that they will be able to compete for major honours in the coming seasons. They want to know what direction the club is taking and whether significant funds will be invested in the squad this summer. 

As a result, talks have been called off until the end of the season, meaning both players will enter the final two years of their deals. Should either refuse to sign an extension, it could leave Arsenal with little choice but to cash in.

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Fall from grace

Arsene Wenger will need to reassure Sanchez and Ozil that he will be able to build a squad capable of winning the Premier League. Having led the table in January, they have since slumped to fourth place and find themselves in a familiar battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Failure to qualify for Europe's elite competition would give both players reason to consider their futures at the Emirates Stadium while it may also leave Arsenal's board members with a big decision to make over Wenger's future.

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Premier League

A summer of upheaval

Arsenal failed to sign a single outfield player last summer in a period that saw Wenger champion stability over change. However, the Frenchman will be forced to make significant adjustments this time around as the future of half a dozen stars come into question.

Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are all expected to depart while it is also believed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs will be available for the right price.

Those departures would leave Wenger scrapping to sign a number of replacements and convincing Sanchez and Ozil to stay will only serve to take up more time.

Manchester City v Arsenal - FA Community Shield

Key players

Costing almost £80m over the course of two summers, Sanchez and Ozil represented a significant change for Arsenal and were meant to be the world-class stars capable of pushing Arsenal into a new era of success.

They have performed well this season with Ozil conjuring eight goals and 19 assists across all competitions while Sanchez has 14 goals and ten assists respectively. However, those around them have let them down with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace last weekend effectively ending their title challenge.

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Topics:
Alexis Sanchez
Theo Walcott
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Arsene Wenger

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