Patrick Vieira thinks Arsenal need to sort out player contracts and invest in the transfer market if they want to compete at the top again.

Vieira spoke to Sky Sports about the Gunners’ current situation, adamantly stating that things need to improve. “When you look at the Arsenal team in the last few years I think everybody expects more because of what this football club represents,” he said.

“The current years, of course, are not good enough. It’s not good for the club, for the fans. When you win you want to keep winning and there are players who have to make a decision about what they want to do in the future. I think that is the first thing they need to resolve.

Arsene Wenger, Mesut Ozil
Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil (L) and French manager Arsene Wenger (R) speak during a team training session for the forthcoming UEFA Champions League Group F football match against SSC Napoli at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground in north London on September 30, 2013. Arsenal will play against Napoli at the Emirates Stadium on October 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

“And then, bring quality players to challenge Manchester City, because I believe Manchester City will be the team to beat in the years to come. When you look at the way they play the game, you don’t have to especially be a City fan to enjoy it.”

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil and Jack Wilshere’s contracts all expire at the end of the season. With only a few days to go until the January transfer window, there’s no news on any of them. If the Gunners don’t agree new deals now, foreign clubs can come in with pre-contract agreements in the winter window.

The trio might be tempted to leave, but the interest likely to come their way will prove distracting even if they aren’t seeking an immediate exit in January. It must be hard to keep focused on succeeding with your current side if clubs are throwing big sums of money at you.

Arsenal also need to make some top signings. At the moment, Wenger has plenty of depth almost all over the pitch, but real quality is often lacking. It’s hard to argue Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal could play as centre-backs for other top clubs on current form.

The Gunners’ central midfield and wide positions aren’t exactly much stronger than their rivals either, so there’s a lot of work to do in the remainder of December and January.