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Arsene Wenger has warned that things could get delicate in terms of contract negotiations if players enter the final year of their contracts.
The manager was speaking concerning Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez contracts renewal which have been dragging on since May. The duo are already into the penultimate year of their contracts and talks to extend their deals haven’t made much progress.
Some of us are beginning to fear that we could be forced to sell the star duo if they don’t agree a new contract before the end of the season but Wenger suggests we can afford to keep both players even if they enter into the final year of their contracts but admitted that ideally he would love to avoid such situation.
Wenger who recently spoke in a confident manner that we would get the duo to extend their contracts has now admitted that the situation will be more difficult if they enter the final year of their contracts.
“Yes,” said Wenger , when asked if Arsenal can afford to keep players in their final year of contract. “If you pay them enough money, and if they want to stay as well. they have to feel that you meet their needs at the club and they get paid for it. Ideally no (go into the final year) but that is why we negotiate before.”
“Look, I find when you start a contract, you agree to commit for the length of the contract for the money you have signed for – but that is basically not the case because of the fact that you only retain the value of the player [as] you extend the contract two years before the end of a contract, or sometimes one year before.”
“Then you are always in a delicate situation because now do you sell with one year to go knowing you will get less money than when he has two years? Basically you have not much choice,” Wenger added.
Keeping a player in the final year of his contract is easier said than done. In this age where football has been monetized, you have to be sure that there is a chance you can still convince the player to sign a new deal with you before allowing his contract run into its final year. In a situation where you aren’t sure of the player’s plans, it makes more sense to sell instead of losing him for free the next summer.
In the case of Ozil and Sanchez, they appear to be happy here and we are hopeful they will sign a new deal before they enter into the final year of their contracts.