The final weeks of the season could go a long way to determining how Arsenal shape up for the 2017-18 campaign.
With the respective futures of Arsene Wenger, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil seemingly undecided, the Gunners are at risk of losing three of the most important figures at the club this summer.
The north London outfit are currently in sixth position in the Premier League table with a vital clash against Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday.
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Despite having played a game less than each of the teams above them, Arsenal simply must take all three points this weekend to preserve their hopes of sneaking into the top four this season.
Wenger has watched his side limp through the back end of the campaign after their silverware ambitions capitulated in the weeks following a 10-2 defeat on aggregate to Bayern Munich in early March.
The Gunners have since struggled to build any momentum to get back on track, not least due to abysmal team performances being compounded by poor individual displays from their main men.
Sanchez and Ozil – often tasked with the enormous burden of winning matches for Arsenal virtually on their own – have seen their influence wane in the latter stages of the season.
What’s more, Wenger might not have been able to call upon the German playmaker at all this season had he given more thought to an attractive offer nearly 12 months ago.
The Independent reports Ozil was tempted to leave Arsenal last summer after a Chinese club reportedly offered him a deal worth £100 million after tax.
However, the 28-year-old claims he never seriously considered moving to China despite the enormous pay rise on offer.
Speaking to Goal, he said: “Money never played a big role for me in football. I play football because I love it.
“Sure, you do not earn peanuts and the offer from China was tempting and interesting.
“But as I said: Money is not everything. I want to win titles and I have my goals I want to achieve. That is more important than money. That's why I said from the beginning, that China is not an option for me.”
With just over a year remaining on his current contract, Ozil is yet to commit his future to the Gunners, though his reaction to an eye-watering offer from China should provide at least some comfort to worried Arsenal fans.
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