A huge worry for Arsenal FC and their fans that the clubs best two players, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez, are stalling on signing new deals with the club.
Arsenal first began contract negotiations with both players’ representatives last September in the hope of tying them down to long-term deals, but no real progress has been made and the talks will not resume until after the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
As a result, the pair are now in the last two years of their respective deals and are aware that their bargaining positions get progressively stronger as time passes. They are already among the top-earning players at Arsenal, but are unlikely to be short of attractive offers should they decide to leave the club.
In April, manager Arsene Wenger expressed his confidence the duo would remain at the Emirates saying:
“You know these two players have two years contract to go at the end of the season.
“We’re not in a hurry. We are talking.
“The players are very keen to stay.”
An article in The Times says that is is unclear why Ozil and Sanchez are delaying talks however, Arsenal’s failure to compete for the titles or sign big names over the summer could be a factor.
Ozil in particular has been outspoken in the past about the Gunners inability to sign more top players.
Another factor could the future of manager Arsene Wenger. The longest serving manager in the Premier League is entering the final year of his contract and there are whispers that this will be his final season in charge at the Emirates. If that was the case, Sanchez and Ozil could simply be waiting to see who is the new manager before deciding to sign new deals.