Ian Wright says it’s terrible business from Arsenal to allow Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil to run their contracts down in the way they have.
The two players have contracts expiring at the end of the season, but could start negotiating a free transfer to a foreign club in just over a week when the January transfer window opens.
Wright spoke to Sky Sports’ The Debate about the situation on Tuesday evening, and he was not happy about it.
“It is terrible business for Arsenal, for a club accused of being a business to allow two players like that to run their contracts down,” he argued.
“Sanchez on top form is easily a £100m player. Ozil on top form is worth £70m to £80m. Arsenal are letting that go. It is disgusting business on the management side for Arsenal.
“How are you going to sell players like that in January for £25m? It is like people are laughing at you. Manchester City could find £25m in the car seat or something. And you’re going to get Sanchez for that kind of money?
“For it to get to this point where they can be offered that kind of money…and why would you offer £60m when they are free in a few months?
“With the way that Sanchez is playing and having seen him be substituted in recent times, something that never used to happen, I would probably take the hit on him now because it looks like the towel has gone in and his heart isn’t in it now.”
There’s so little time for either player to agree a new deal now, that you have to assume it’s not going to happen before the start of the winter window. If that’s the case, it’s hard to argue with anything Wright has said here.
Arsenal fans have been calling for contract extensions since before the start of the 2016/17 season, but the club haven’t managed to get either player to commit in the 18 months since.
Even Jack Wilshere, who seems to want to stick around, is no closer to a renewal than he was at the start of the campaign, as negotiations haven’t even started.
It seems to me like the club are just stalling and hoping the situation will resolve itself. Arsenal will shoot to the top of the table, win every trophy available, and suddenly all the players who wanted out will be begging to stay. But since that isn’t happening, I’d recommend opening negotiations now.