Alexis Sanchez could require £400k-per-week to extend his Arsenal contract.

If reports are to be believed, the Chilean is asking for a staggering amount of money to remain an Arsenal player beyond 2018. It’s almost triple his current wages, and would make him not only the best paid player in the Premier League, but also one of the best paid players in the world.

A heavy price for Arsenal to pay, then, for a player that’s become so important to them. Unfortunately, Arsenal face a heavy price no matter what they do. They could stand to lose tens of millions of pounds should they opt not to sell Alexis this summer and lose him for nothing next summer. A delicate game is being played between the two with no indication as to who’s going to move first.

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger (R) shakes hands with Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez (L) during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match against Bayern Munich at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on March 6, 2017. (Picture source: Glyn Kirk / AFP / Getty Images)

The question on everyone’s mind is if Arsenal should pay Alexis what he wants. With the pressure of potentially losing our best player for nothing, the temptation is to immediately say yes. Drawn out negotiations do nothing to help the club and the inevitable circus it would cause throughout the season would only be to the team’s detriment. Arsenal have the ability to pay such wages, hence nothing should be holding them back from doing so. Pay the man, get the contract done. Sorted.

Yet while that helps Arsenal in the short-term, it might work against them in the long-term. Once one player receives £400k-per-week, more players will begin thinking that they, too, could receive such money. It would set a new benchmark at Arsenal of what a top player could potentially receive, which would make future negotiations tougher for Arsenal. Then there is Alexis himself to consider. The Chilean turns 29 next season, and, should he sign a new contract, would likely be an Arsenal player into his 30s. A player like that on mega-wages could be difficult to shift.

Ultimately, finding an agreement that suits everyone and is good now and in the future will be very difficult with so much short-term pressure. Arsenal keeping Alexis Sanchez next season is essential if they’re to have any chance of winning the Premier League. New contract or not, the benefit of keeping Alexis far outweighs the benefits of receiving a hefty fee from Manchester City. Moreover, while the future shouldn’t be disregarded, Arsenal’s priority should be now and putting together a team that will bring them success this year, not the next.

Arsenal’s hope will be that some good form next season may convince Alexis to stay with them. He could well reduce his wage demands during the season. If he doesn’t, though, Arsenal may just have to bite the bullet and pay that £400k-per-week, otherwise the risk they took to keep him will amount to nothing at the end of the season.