Arsenal are going to have the cheque book out if they have any intention of competing for the Premier League title for years to come.
The Gunners look ready to contend this year. Five wins in a row has propelled them to third in the table, a 3-0 win over Chelsea the hallmark of what Arsene Wenger’s team can do when they click.
But what about next season, when Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City have had an entire year with new management under their belts? Liverpool and Tottenham, who both have exciting, young teams, will challenge, too.
Out of the six teams mentioned, it’s perhaps Arsenal are in the most precarious position, for two reasons. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal’s two best players will readily walk if trophies don’t arrive at the Emirates Stadium in the immediate future. It’s why the Gunners have to make the most of their current position.
Arsenal are keen to tie up Ozil and Sanchez to long-term deals, and with good reason. The German recorded 19 assists last season while Sanchez has scored five goals in his last seven matches.
Knowing full well how important they are to Arsenal’s success, both players have asked for a significant increase on their current deals.
Ozil earns £140,000-per-week and Sanchez receives £130,000-per-week. Twelve months ago Arsenal offered the pair deals worth £180,000-per-week which, according to The Times, are set to be rejected.
Instead, Ozil and Sanchez will ask for a raise of £70,000 on that number, to £250,000-per-week.
Arsenal must be regretting not getting the deals sewn up last year. The former La Liga stars both decided to put contract talks on hold in order to focus on their football around the busy Christmas period.
The duo’s representatives have looked at the diminishing amount of time on the players’ contracts, which expire in 2018, as well as the effects of the £5.1 billion TV deal as justification for requesting £1 million-per-month wages.
Arsenal are also set to be hurt by Brexit, which has reduced the value of the pound.
The new demands could seriously cost Arsenal. The £70,000-per-week difference between the original and new contracts, for both players over five years, is £36m.