Thierry Henry says that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are holding Arsenal hostage when it comes to negotiating their new contracts.
Speaking on Sky this evening, after the Man City game, it was put to the club’s record scorer that Alexis seeking the £400,000 a week he’s been offered from China and Ozil looking for £300,000 (it’s gone up from the £250,000 mark now), mean Arsenal will have to break the bank to keep the star duo.
“Those two players are vital for the future of the club, they have to secure that deal,” he said.
“But to what extent? I don’t know if Arsene is going to want to pay those numbers. But if they don’t sign, who are you going to bring after that? What’s the future?
“At the moment they are holding the club hostage. They are amazing but if they are on that amount of money, I want a hat-trick every week – and also when there’s no game!
“You need to be in a situation where you’ve won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.”
Of course what Chinese clubs are offering and what newspapers report are a) very different things and b) probably not 100% accurate.
Keeping them both is crucial, but there’s no way we’re paying anywhere near those sums. Fellow pundit Graeme Souness, said, “It’s a real watershed moment for Arsenal because if they don’t sign those two players, two players who have proven they can arguably be their two best players, and allow them to leave, going forward, what’s that saying about Arsenal?
“But the dilemma is if you pay them the money they’re after, they’ll all be knocking on the manager’s door saying they want a big increase.
“For Arsenal, as a big football club – and they genuinely are one of the big clubs in world football – they have to make a statement.
“If they allow them two to go, how are they going to attract big players in the future?”
Still, third highest scorer this season Ozil had a bit of a stinker today, so we should be able to knock a few quid off his wages now.
That’s how it works, right?