Arsène Wenger has admitted that Arsenal might be forced to sell Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez in January if there is no sign of a breakthrough in contract talks before the transfer window opens.
Alexis Sánchez is out of contract at the end of the season.
Özil and Sánchez are both in the final year of their current deals and while Wenger remains hopeful that negotiations with his two biggest players will reach a successful conclusion, Arsenal’s manager opened the door to cashing in on the pair if the situation drags on.
“Once you are in our kind of situation we have envisaged every kind of solution yes,” Wenger said. “It’s possible.”
Wenger has not put a deadline on talks with either player and he said he was encouraged by Özil’s agent saying that the German, who is after a massive pay rise before committing himself to Arsenal, wants to stay in the Premier League. Özil currently earns £140,000 a week and the 28-year-old, who is set to return for Saturday’s visit to Watford, is said to be giving serious thought to staying at Arsenal because a shortage of suitors.
“That’s my understanding,” Wenger said. “I always said that the fact that we didn’t find an agreement last year doesn’t mean the player will necessarily leave. Both players look happy here and overall I hope that the situation can be turned around. At the moment, we are not close enough to announce anything.”
Wenger went on to add his voice to the opposition against the proposal by Sky Sports to move Arsenal’s home game against Liverpool to Christmas Eve.
“I know that we have to adapt to the schedule dictated by TV,” Wenger said. “If that happens, I think no game should be played after 2pm. I would prefer to be at home on Christmas night and celebrating. I still feel that could happen if we play early.
“You wouldn’t want to sacrifice your evening with your family. But that isn’t considered any more. People want to watch football during the Christmas period.”
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