Arsene Wenger says Mesut Özil wants money and trophies to stay with the Gunners, as negotiations continue over a new contract.
Özil’s current deal expires at the end of the season but Wenger is clearly more optimistic about keeping the German than he is about Sanchez.
He told his pre-match press conference, “It looks like Sánchez will not extend his contract. But we want to keep Jack and if we have an opportunity maybe to keep Özil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left.”
The manager went on to say that negotiations with the 29-year-old are “very much alive” and there’s “still an opportunity for him to stay”.
When asked whether the World Cup winner would want money or trophies to stick around, Wenger responded that it’s not a case of one or the other.
“It’s both, always,” the manager explained. “These guys want to win, and they want to make money as well.
“So they want a combination of the two that big clubs can give them.”
From a financial standpoint, Sanchez’s departure should help. If the Chilean is definitely not extending his contract, Arsenal can use some of that money for Özil.
In terms of winning trophies, the Gunners are going to find this season more difficult as a bargaining tool.
The team are in the semi-final of the League Cup, and drew the first leg 0-0. Even if they can beat Chelsea in the return leg at the Emirates, they still have to beat Manchester City (probably) in the final. Even facing Bristol City would guarantee nothing with Arsenal’s tendency to Arsenal.
The Premier League is long gone, and even top four is starting to look difficult to achieve.
Arsenal are already out of the FA Cup, humiliated as they were eliminated. They also have a long way to go in the Europa League.
If they want Özil to stay, they’re going to have to be at their best until May. Given that they were supposed to be trying to convince both Ozil and Alexis from the start of the season, don’t bet your house on that happening.