Arsenal should be preparing themselves for life after Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil because both will be playing elsewhere this time next year.
Both are in the last year of their current contracts and neither player appears willing to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.
If falling to win the Premier League for 13 years and missing out on the Champions League wasn’t enough to seal Arsene Wenger’s fate, watching Sanchez and Ozil leave for nothing probably won’t be either.
But it certainly won’t reflect well on the Frenchman, whose relationship with Arsenal fans has been on a downward spiral for years.
The club have tried to convince Sanchez and Ozil to stay, offering the pair £300,000-per-week and £250,000-per-week contracts retrospectively.
But both players know that they can earn similar wages elsewhere at clubs with greater ambition.
Manchester City, for instance, were close to signing Sanchez in the summer and could renew their interest in January.
Meanwhile, Ozil has been linked with a move to Manchester United.
Their contract disputes are only the start of the problems the two players are causing behind the scenes at the Emirates.
According to James Olley of the Evening Standard, Arsenal players were left “furious” with Ozil and Sanchez’s absence from a club media activity day in September.
First team players were required at the club’s London Colney training base on September 21 to satisfy corporate and sponsorship agreements.
Danny Welbeck attended despite nursing a groin injury, as did Mathieu Debuchy, who has made just one appearance for the first team since November 2015.
Ozil and Sanchez? They were nowhere in sight.
Arsenal said Sanchez and Ozil were sick
The Gunners told the Standard that both players were sick and thus unable to attend, but that appears to be nonsense when you realise Sanchez played 90 minutes against Doncaster the night before.
The Chilean started against West Brom four days later and Ozil came off the bench.
The Standard add that this isn’t the first time the two stars have irritated their teammates.
Several players were privately annoyed when Ozil and Sanchez refused to speak during Arsenal’s struggles last season, including when they lost seven out of 12 matches in all competitions between January 31 and April 10.
If the Gunners believe allowing Sanchez and Ozil to skip their contractual agreements will convince them to stay, it’s pretty embarrassing.
And their teammates don’t think it will work anyway. They are resigned to Ozil and Sanchez leaving.
What an absolute mess.
Where will Sanchez and Ozil be playing next season? Let us know in the comments section below!
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