Ozil, Sanchez want big­ger con­tracts

> Top Gun­ners ask for RM1.37m a-week be­cause of Brexit vote

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS - BY JACK DE MENEZES

AR­SE­NAL MAY have cost them­selves more than £36m (RM190m) in fail­ing to tie down Me­sut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to new con­tracts last sum­mer as the pair are now re­ported to be de­mand­ing £250,000(RM1.31m)-a-week to ex­tend their stints at the Emi­rates Sta­dium, partly due to the Brexit vote.

Both Ozil and Sanchez are out of con­tract in 2018 and the club have al­ready iden­ti­fied the pair as pri­or­ity tar­gets for new long-term con­tracts that will run un­til 2020.

With Santi Ca­zorla also near­ing the end of his con­tract – which ex­pires at the end of the sea­son – Ar­se­nal’s board have a fair bit of ne­go­ti­at­ing on the hori­zon, but they have been hit with a set­back in talks with Ozil and Sanchez.

Ac­cord­ing to The Times, Ar­se­nal will re­open con­tract talks once the pair re­turn from the cur­rent in­ter­na­tional break, but their de­mands of £250,000-a-week stand at £70,000 (RM369m) more than what was dis­cussed last year.

It is no se­cret that Ozil and Sanchez are Ar­se­nal’s two most valu­able play­ers both on and off the field, with their form this sea­son help­ing to lift the Gun­ners into Premier League ti­tle con­tention as they sit in third place, two points off lead­ers Manch­ester City.

The new wage de­mands may come as a shock for the Ar­se­nal hi­er­ar­chy, but as The Times goes on to ex­plain, there are three cru­cial fac­tors in play that is be­hind the hefty de­mands.

Two rea­sons could – and should – have been ex­pected by Ar­se­nal, with the time left on their deals re­duc­ing to­wards the feared one-year mark where the prospect of a free trans­fer be­gins to loom, and also the rate of in­fla­tion in wages across the Premier League due to the new tele­vi­sion broad­cast deal that came into ef­fect at the start of the sea­son.

The third rea­son though will not have been ex­pected by the club, with June’s Brexit vote re­sult­ing in a large de­cline in the value of the pound. When talks orig­i­nally be­gan last Oc­to­ber, the pound was val­ued at € 1.38, while its post-Brexit vote value has re­duced to € 1.13.

The change in cur­rency val­u­a­tion could have se­ri­ous ram­i­fi­ca­tions for all Premier League clubs sign­ing play­ers from abroad, with those hold­ing large as­sets and fam­i­lies abroad set to ask for higher wages.

Twenty seven year-old Ozil is al­ready the clubs high­est paid player among the Ar­se­nal squad with his £140,000 (RM737,800)-a-week wages £10,000 (RM52,700) more than 27-yearold Sanchez’s.

The next in line is Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Theo Wal­cott on £120,000 (RM632,400)-aweek, but should Ozil and Sanchez se­cure their de­sired salaries, it will cre­ate a huge gulf in the club’s wage struc­ture. – The In­de­pen­dent

Me­sut Ozil (left) and Alexis Sanchez

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