Per Mertesacker insists that he’s confident that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both committed to Arsenal… for the time being.
Per claims that just because Ozil and Alexis are in the final year of their contracts doesn’t make them any less committed than those not… Yeah, right.
“Everyone has to do his job 100% otherwise they are not eligible to be on the pitch,” said the defender. “As long as everyone understands that then we are fine and you won’t get problems from me. If I have a different feeling then it would be addressed.
“I have no problems with players in their final year, that includes me as well. The only issue I’ve got is if they’re not fully committed to what we’re doing here.”
I love Per but even he’s probably aware of how silly this sounds considering the pair obviously don’t want to be at Arsenal any more. At least not Alexis.
To be fair though, there’s not a great deal the 33-year-old can say. I imagine there’s far more going on behind the scenes than the German – or any of the players – would ever let on. He can’t exactly come out and publicly say that one or both of these stars can’t wait to jump ship.
(“Committed? Nah, they both hate it here. Alexis tried to escape by scaling a fence last week. Steve Bould had to drag him down by his ankles!”)
For me, that’s one of the most frustrating aspects of this mess. We know the players – and manager – are just recycling and regurgitating media-trained rubbish every time they open their mouths. But they don’t really have a choice.
Alexis and Ozil are both being linked with January moves with the Chilean reportedly being the more likely of the two to go since there’s been no real interest in the German.
Manchester City are allegedly willing to pay £20m.