Arsenal have a decision to make on five high-profile stars this summer, according to comments made by head of football Raul Sanllehi last week.
Speaking to fans ahead of the Manchester United game on Sunday, Sanllehi talked about Aaron Ramsey’s departure from the club. He vowed that the Welshman will be the last player allowed to leave for anything other than his true value.
Football.London point out this means decisions need to be made on a number of key players this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Özil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all have contracts expiring in 2021, which will be two years away this summer.
It’s common knowledge that you’ll struggle to get full value for a player when they have a year left on their deal, as your negotiating position is weak. Most buying clubs are willing to wait 12 months to sign a player they really want for free, so you have to convince them they’re better off paying extra to sign the player immediately.
As a result, getting full value out of a player with two years left on their contract usually means either selling them immediately or tying them down to a new deal.
Of course, if the player is further into their thirties, like Nacho Monreal or Laurent Koscielny, it’s not as much of an issue. You don’t really expect to get much back for them either way. Plus, tying them down to a long contract is much more likely to mean paying them to live in the club’s injury room.
With someone like Shkodran Mustafi (26), it’s more important to see a return on your investment. We’ll see what the club does this summer.