Arsenal are in the hunt for silverware this season, but matters off the pitch are dominating the headlines regarding the Gunners so far this week.
With their contracts set to expire in 2018, concern continues to grow over the long-term futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the club.
Both players have continued to prove their importance to Arsenal so far this season, and while Arsene Wenger will be desperate to avoid losing his top two players, he has set a marker out by suggesting that the Gunners won’t bow down to financial demands.
“Well, I would like to say the luxury of the modern game should be that it’s not only about the money, because the players make anyway wherever they play good money at this level. I believe, personally… maybe I am a bit naïve, but it’s more about getting to meet the players’ needs,” he told the media, as reported by the club’s official website.
“That’s about the way the club has values, the way the club has ambition, the way the club respects the players. So I think, for me, that is more important nowadays and an important ingredient for every player to consider. The money is good everywhere for everybody.”
While that’s a romantic way of looking at it, it remains to be seen whether or not Sanchez and Ozil see it the same way as ultimately based on speculation earlier this week, it’s claimed that they are both keen on securing big-money deals to put them on a par with Europe’s biggest stars.
The contract situation for the pair will be an on-going concern for Arsenal, Wenger and supporters, and it doesn’t look as though reinforcements will be arriving in January.
With the Gunners currently sitting in second place in the Premier League table and three points adrift of leaders Chelsea, they look well-placed to stick with the pack and make a serious run at the title.
However, according to The Telegraph, there are no plans to boost their squad as Wenger is ultimately happy with the options at his disposal despite injuries to key players.
Hector Bellerin was back in training this week while Danny Welbeck is set to return in the New Year, although Santi Cazorla remains sidelined for some time yet.
Nevertheless, no new players are expected at the Emirates in January, and that includes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is seemingly edging towards a move to Real Madrid, as per AS.
The Metro note that the Gunners have been long-time admirers of the Gabon international, who has scored an incredible 98 goals in 160 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, but Real are stepping up their interest and are favourites to sign him.