The Gunners boss gave a confusing response with two of his star men facing departures from the Emirates Stadium in the next 12 months
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil entering the last year of their Arsenal contracts is an “ideal” situation for the club, believes manager Arsene Wenger.
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Deals for Alexis and Ozil are due to expire at the end of the coming campaign, with the Chile international having been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain as a result.
Alexis was not involved in this weekend’s Emirates Cup as his return to training following international duty Confederations Cup was delayed due to illness, as speculation of an exit from the Gunners continues to surround the exciting forward.
And Wenger insisted it will become more common for top players to allow their contracts to run down, with Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Kieran Gibbs also in the final year of their current deals.
“It is an ideal situation – everyone has to perform,” Wenger said after his side defended their Emirates Cup title despite a 2-1 loss to Sevilla on Sunday.
“In the future you will see that more and more, players going to the end of their contract. Why? Because transfers become so high, even for normal players, they will go to the end of the contract because no one will want to pay the amount of money that is demanded. I am convinced that in the next 10 years that will become usual.
They said “Mesut you have to be ice-cold in front of goal”. Ok, I’ll try my best … #coldchamber#preseason#regenerationpic.twitter.com/wzWcOJjUu3
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 27, 2017
“When you are a football player you perform until the last day of your contract. What does it change if you have two years or one year to go? If you go out on the football pitch you want to play and you want to do well.
“Do you really think that you sit in the dressing room before the game and think, ‘Oh I only have one year to go I will not play well today’? Where does that come from?
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“When you’re a football player you want to go out and play and do as well as you can. What does that have to do with the length of your contract? How long do you know that you will work for your company? As long as you work you do well.
“Nobody knows if Sanchez will not extend his contract here. The performance on the day does not depend on the length of the contract. If that was true we would sign everyone for 20 years.”
A post shared by Alexis Sanchez (@alexis_officia1) on
Wenger allowed his own contract to run down earlier this year before eventually agreeing fresh terms to extend his stay at the Premier League club, but the Frenchman insisted Alexis’s situation is not the same.
“My situation was different. It impacted the players. For an individual player, it does not,” said Wenger.
“What can I do? One day [Alexis] will go and Arsenal will go on. We will all go one day and Arsenal will go on. Hopefully. Of course, I think he’ll stay. How many times have I said that?”
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