Friday, October 7, 2022

Wenger on Ozil & Alexis futures (press conference transcript)

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are doing their utmost to persuade Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new contracts at the Emirates but he can’t offer assurances at the moment that deals will be done.

Stressing that both players are fully committed to the Gunners the boss played up the fact that 18 months is a long time in football and that negotiations have no impact on the duo or the wider dressing room. He also dismissed suggestions that Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for the players.

There were two main batches of questions on the subject of contract renewals in his Friday press conference, here’s what the boss said.


There’s a lot of uncertainty this week over the long-term futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, they both have 18 months left on their contracts…

It depends what you call long-term, 18 months is quite long in football, you know.

I hear what you say, but what assurances can you give to Arsenal fans right now?

None. They have 18 months contract and that they are completely committed to do well, as long as they are here.

And beyond that?

Beyond that, we’ll try to extend their contract. I cannot make a subject of that in every press conference because that’s a normal part of every renewal when you negotiate. The less you talk about it, the better it is.

Alexis Sanchez apparently has an offer for £400,000 a week to go to China. When you hear that kind of thing, do you believe it?

I believe it, yes. Why not? But why should you go to China today when you play in England?

You’ve said it’s not just about the money it’s about the other things and meeting the players needs…just how important is that side of things to players?

I believe we live in a world where the great players like Sanchez and Ozil earn a lot of money. They have the privilege to choose where they really want to play.

Will you have to break the current wage structure to keep them? And are you prepared to do that?

Look, like always we do the maximum we can for every single player.

Mesut Ozil apparently, if he isn’t prepared to take less money, the club would be willing to listen to offers. Is that true?

No. I don’t know where you find this. These players have 18 months contract and no matter what happens they will stay 18 months and hopefully much longer.


In the past when players have run their contracts down here into the final year – I’m thinking Robin van Persie – you decided to sell them. Is that not going to happen with Ozil and Sanchez?

I’m not the only one who can decide that, contract negotiations, in this case are between two parties. On my side, the best position is to achieve it earlier.

But if you get to next summer and there’s no agreement, are you saying you wouldn’t sell either of them?

I told you that these players will stay for at least 18 months. I cannot repeat always the same things. At some stage you have as well to accept that negotiations are private and secret and we do not always have to come out and explain every day what we do in football negotiations. We are professional people, we work until the last day of our contracts with full commitment.

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I appreciate that journalists are gonna journo, and Wenger isn’t the kind to come out and make empty promises. I respect as well that paying £400k/week is obsence…. but these quotes aren’t particularly encouraging.

Oh, I hope they stay. We have the best squad we’ve had in years and years, and these two are the icing on the cake. We need them to stay. If they leave, we’d be looking for marquee replacements (unless Wilshere/Ramsey can take up the No10 role, and I have doubts)… Sigh upon sigh. Please just sign. Please.

Dan Gunn

It does seem like we have more of these will he won’t he sign dramas than most. Vieira, Henry, Van Persie, Nasri, Cesc (over and over). For what my two penneth is worth. Ozil looks the more likely to sign. He seems settled, at one with his game, scoring goals and given a total free role. Interesting hearing iwobi saying he is the teachers pet constantly in wenger’s office getting special arrangements etc. Sanchez seems the trickier of the two. If you believe what you read Juve were in last summer and he wasn’t averse to leaving but we absolutely… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Arsenal also need that young player eager to replace Sanchez or Ozil. Are Zelalem or Crowley ready to replace Ozil ? They’re not even close, perhaps not even the material for it.

Bendtner's Ego


The kid’s probably done.

Godfrey Twatschloch

I’d suggest it takes a bit more than being booted out of two lower league clubs for piss poor behaviour to replace Özil.


Wenger’s serenity under incessantly moronic questioning, is breathtaking. Just imagine if, with absolute justification, he simply said… ‘don’t be such a dick.’

Sheffield Goon

He’s certainly in a very tricky position, answering repetitive and stupid questions. That aside, I’m not confident that the team I support can keep hold of these two players. We’ve seen this so many times before. I found it very refreshing that Bellerin appeared to sign his contract with such little fuss. The more fuss there is usually indicates a player will go – just look at recent years. The club is richer now and has a bigger income, but unfortunately so does everyone else. I hope I’m wrong, but I just cannot seem to envisage the headline “Sanchez and… Read more »

Gus Caesar

In my opinion the more fuss there is the more of a pain in the arse the agents are. There have been many cases down the years of massive fuss resulting in new contracts, it’s just that people always remember the few that had bad outcomes.


I think we all need to remember though that both players arrived from technically ‘bigger’ clubs than Arsenal. Sanchez from Barcelona, and Ozil from Real Madrid. So apart from their original clubs, which I think is highly unlikely, where would they go now from a football perspective? In terms of money, there’s only really Man City here from a financial perspective, as I don’t believe the Blue Chavs a little south of us have any greater firepower than we do. Abroad… for Ozil possibly Bayern Munich, but again I’m not sure that financially they can outgun us.


Very very good point. Didn’t even think of that! It’s unlikely the Ozil go to Barcelona and Sanchez will want to go Madrid. Aside from that there’s only Bayern as you say.

I think the days have long and gone where we sell to premier league rivals. I know it’s not the best example but look at Debuchy offer to Utd was rejected.


Remember Theo Walcott? He did signed and if i am not wrong , at the time of signing the contract he was the most earning Arsenal player.


@Sheffield You’re wrong, and the reason is basic: Massvie TV money. Arsenal have more cash coming in now than ever. Bigger sponsorship deals, and no constraints of moving Stadiums. They will look at the massive influx of cash and come to an agreeable figure. Also letting go of a few squad players and freeing up that salary cash would even things out.

Sheffield Goon

Yes, I appreciate this, and I know why people are down-voting my original comment. I’m not a moaner, and I generally see the positive in our team, and the manager. I guess I’m just concerned that we haven’t yet made that transition into a club that really knows what’s important and how to spend its money effectively.

As others have said, I really hope they just sign, and soon. For now, I’m just really enjoying having great players at the club again (no disrespect intended to the many other very good players we have).

god god Bergkamp god god

Since Ozils arrival Arsene has proven over and over that he knows how to spend money effectively. we have a top competitive squad and Arsene never had to pay inflated prices like our competitors.

Campbell's forehead

Imagine the media shit storm if he did that? Would be worth it though.


It’s maddening enough to just read it! The same question asked in slightly different ways again and again.

Ryan Daley

I don’t sympathise with the journos, but you can bet behind them they’ve got there boss asking why didn’t you press him about the contracts?!? I need a quote I can twist!


Followed by fine. We’ll just have to make one up and start the article with “it is believed that”

Rectum Spectrum

“Our source claims….”

Granit(e) hard!

While I fully appreciate the articulate discussions on whether Ozil/Seanchez will/will not sign a new deal, but….. i for one, can’t help but chuckle uncontrollably at the mental image of arsene, as you suggested, simply saying….‘don’t be such a dick’, priceless!

Ned Flanders Bible

The intelligence of some “journalists” is breathtaking!

Edu's Braces

If they want to leave then fine, i’ll sadly accept it. If, with our oodles of cash, we sell them in the summer then i will not accept it. Football is so far beyond basic economics that i dont care if it is seen as silly to lose an asset for nothing rather than sell it a year before. Most we would get is £30m in their last year which we could do nothing with. As Arsene constantly says, having money does not mean you can get a top quality player, there isn’t many out there and there are dozens… Read more »

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Totally agree, and that’s why I believe Wenger when he says they’ll be here at least until the end of their current deals. It would make no sense to sell them. And any rumours suggesting the club would consider selling them to other Premier League title rivals is laughable.

Gus Caesar

This is nice in theory but the cold hard reality is a bit different. If either say that they won’t commit to the club long-term and know that they have offers from clubs they will commit to, what are the chances of them staying focused and contributing positively to their last season? Do we as fans really want players at the club who don’t want to be there? Do we want to play Ozil against City if we know that he’s already agreed to join them in 2018? I’d rather we took whatever we could get and moved on. Offer… Read more »

Edu's Braces

With a World Cup around the corner they will want to be playing every week and with intensity. They will also want to win trophies for the year that’s in it. Also in that year a lot can happen where they could change their mind. I don’t buy that they wouldn’t be trying. Alexis would get competitive in a game of conkers and sure Ozil doesn’t try anyway 😉

More importantly we need to not be pushovers, id rather city got one of them for free in 2018 rather than some shit price in 2017.

Gus Caesar

It won’t happen. This is business and only a foolish business would turn its nose up at £30m and the chance to spend that on replacements. It’s not about being pushovers, it’s about realising the right time to exit the talks and doing what’s best for the club. Us fans will always want to keep the best players for as long as possible but, if they aren’t showing any sign of signing a new deal then there isn’t a cat’s chance in hell of them being here this time next year. Having said this, I genuinely believe that they will… Read more »

Edu's Braces

Of course but the fans will eventually hit breaking point. If we’re in any way seen as going back to being a selling club then they will walk which could have a massive impact. Also there is a value in having those players for a year, both on the pitch and for revenues off it. But i do think they would sell if talks hit an impasse and i just find it massively hypocritical because, not to get too misty eyed about it, we’re a club first then a business.

Gus Caesar

I think most fans understand that we have our place in the pecking order. It’s frustrating but if they both turned down £250k pw then it’s hard to believe the club could have done much more. Like i say, i think they will both sign on but, if they don’t, that’s life in the darwinist world that is football.


In my opinion, if we are serious about winning trophies this year the best thing the club can do is splash the cash on making them stay. Imagine if they sign new contracts in the run in to the end of the season? It shows commitment to the cause and the players in the dressing room will all get a lift from that news and take 2016’s form into the new year. Not to mention the fans. We have our best attacking 2 players since bergkamp and henry. 2 players that always came out and confessed their love for this… Read more »

Roger Ramjet

Or called someone an ostrich.

Gus Caesar

Wenger’s long enough in the game to know how this works and to know that the media will always ask questions when key players are in contract negotiations for a long time. It’s a game of chess and there’s no benefit for the club in playing it out in public. There’s also nothing in it for the players to race to a compromise – the longer it drags out the stronger their position is, so I won’t hold my breath on this being resolved soon. As far a i’m concerned i’ll worry about it if we reach next summer without… Read more »

David Kushner

Not to line up with Sanchez and Ozil next season would be a massive blow to the quality of the team. I get it that no individual player is bigger than arsenal as a whole but losing one or both of Sanchez and ozil would be gut wrenching.

Gus Caesar

Yep, but life sucks sometimes! We’ve seen other great players come and go and we’ve still survived, still attracted other top players, players are transient. Unfortunately we’re not the biggest fish and whilst that’s the case (probably always will be) then we will get picked off like most other clubs from time to time. The thing to remember is that players aren’t always at the top of their game – the Vieira that Juventus got wasn’t the same player, Fabregas was poor at Barca and you don’t need me to tell you what City got for the megabucks they paid… Read more »

Ned Flanders Bible

We got the best of you too if my memory serves me well! 😉

Gus Caesar

Ha, and quite a bit of the worst!

David Kushner

All of those things are true but Sanchez and ozil are at the height of their powers. They are just hitting their best years. No one is irreplaceable but they would have massive shoes to fill.

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Wenger has repeatedly pointed out, quite rightly, that for him to comment publicly on the negotiations would potentially weaken the club’s hand. And yet idiots like this intervewier just won’t shut up about it, even when Wenger says it again here. I love reading or hearing interviews with Wenger, he’s such an interesting man who has experienced so much, and yet this dickhead just wastes everyone’s time on a subject Wenger has bluntly told him he’s not going to talk about.

Gus Caesar

That’s the way the media works. But it’s not like he just said “no comment”, he still spoke and gave them a few soundbites and that’ll keep them happy for another week. Let’s not forget that he also does an off-record press briefing after most press conferences, so we’re hardly fighting them off.


They should have more bloggers and independent analysts at these conferences. Football journos have gone so far up their own backsides they’ve disappeared.

All the hype around Man Utd and Pogba this year really did it for me – even the Guardian, the best of a bad bunch, predicted Man Utd would win the league. A classic sign that football journalists are becoming increasingly redundant.


Does anyone know how long Ozil had left on his contract Madrid when he angled for a move? I’m guessing a couple by the fee paid?

Gus Caesar

Pretty sure he signed a 6-year deal with them and did 3 years. But I also don’t think he angled for a move, the club had to sell someone and he was the one they opted to flog.

They needed funds for Bale and Ozil was the sacrificial goat. Thanks for that Spuds.


sign da tings


At least Jack Butland, the shot stopping octopus is not playing! I also hope Monreal has some cover against Shaqiri, pacey wingers have cost us a few goals this season – some interesting stats from “The Breakdown” about our left-hand side weak point.

It’s an infinite loop of rumour feeding rumour feeding rumour. It’s frustrating that he’s asked the questions but I love the way he handles it. On the situation itself, personally I’d break the bank to keep them as it would cost 10x more to buy their replacements.


I hope our best players never read what we, the fans, are writing. Every article about them gets comments like ‘pay whatever he asks for’.
That said, pay whatever they ask for.


Sounds like the brexit journos. Let’s play out the negotiations in public. I’m for a red and white brexit (or yellow and blue if we’re playing away).

Hector Bellerin

Just returned from the speed force. They will both resign. Nothing to worry about.

Ashburton Red

They both deserve to be paid what ‘great players’ should be paid. Wenger has acknowledged that so I am sure that we will make them very decent offers with arrangements possibly outside of the ‘wage structure’.

It’s then down to the characters of the players as individuals to decide.. earn c.£250k in the Prem, or £400k in China.

Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour!

Zzzzzzzzz…. annoying, but let Arsenal get on with it behind closed doors while we enjoy what they’re doing on the pitch. We’ll all go mad if we hang off of every word in the press & it’ll just destabalise us a team.


I said before but I think it’s to do with Wengers future as much as money. If Wenger goes we are likely to hit another transition and they may not want 1 or 2 years (more if you look at utd’s case) of not being competitive.

Eftee 3:16

There is only so much the club can do to make them happy. These players have finally found a club that maximizes their abilities as footballers; so it’d be nigh on stupid for Alexis and Ozil to leave for a new adventure, all because of a few thousand pounds extra. If they love football and the stardom they’ve ensured for themselves at Arsenal, they will commit their futures to the club for the long term.


The Sanchez to China rumour is hilarious. Nobody really believes he’d go. He enjoys football far too much – imagine how frustrated he’d be when playing surrounded by League One standard players.

Stewart Robson's therapist

Of course, the first step of any successful negotiation is to reveal your hand to a pack of media lackeys to feast on.

There is not a single player or manager that I despise more than the sly little bastards in the football media. F*** them.


I’m growing as weary of this as Arsene is, but bottom line, we can and have to pay our best players what they’re worth. Look at the Deloitte Money League, Swiss Ramble’s posts and Arsenal’s own financial news releases. There is no reason why we have to be so cheap on wages, frankly limited us from signing the best players. There is also no reason why can’t pay our world class players what clubs like City and Chelsea play their world class players. For those worried about the rest of the players wanting more after Ozil and Sanchez get their… Read more »

Gus Caesar

But we’re not cheap on wages, we’re spending more on wages than the likes of Chelsea, our wage bill is huge. There is also a Premier League wage cap to be taken into consideration and our commercial revenues have been really disappointing. I’m no accountant but it’s pretty clear that the more we agree to pay these two the less we will have available to pay others. So, yes, we can afford to pay both of them £300k a week, but that might mean less money for transfers next summer or even carrying one less established player in the squad… Read more »

igbo Amadi-Obi

Funny how this is developing. A few months ago, it was rumoured that Wenger staying was a condition for Ozil and Sanchez staying. So when Mr. Wenger said there are more important things than money, I thought he was validating that rumour. Hahaha. What is obvious is that there’s a problem. Which should explain why it is taking long to reach an agreement with the players (and their agents). As we can all see, Bellerin already signed. Two possibilities: they are asking for more than our representatives are comfortable with (which shouldn’t surprise anyone given that Wenger has been fighting… Read more »

Stewart Robson's therapist

“Let’s not demonize the journo for doing his job. We have him to thank for the little we know now.”

Pardon me, but I don’t bloody want to know. Every giveaway of information to the public prolongs the negotiations because the club’s hand is weakened. I would rather know nothing and let them get on with it privately. What good does having Arsenal fans knowing every detail do? And let’s not pretend that the journos are genuinely interested in informing the public. They’re only concerned with creating click bait and stirring up shit. F*** them.


It is so sad that the Arsenal fans are so stupid, that they fall for the media  (Written and Radio ) narrative every single time the team are doing well.  Let’s take the very first caller on the debate on talkshite,  after the rant by both Jason  (I can’t stand Ozil, or Arsenal)  Cundy, and Darren (I’m a Tottenham fan ) Lewis. They made very sure that they continued, what the Media, (Written and Radio ) have been doing for a few days now, i.e winding the fans up about the said subject. If you think about it, what they’ve… Read more »


Does this type of situation happen with other clubs, Where high profile player’s contract are allowed to get to 18/12 months and then discussions are had at every press conference or Is it just because we are so close to the club and we notice it more?

I know we play hardball with transfer fees but I’m not sure it’s wise playing that game with key existing players.

Gus Caesar

It’s an interesting point. I certainly think we’re in a fairly unique position of having had a lot of top players who are in demand elsewhere. In a way it’s good to have so many of our players interesting the richest clubs, there’s only one thing worse than being talked about and all that. There’s also a media narrative around us that we’re penny-pinchers and cheap when set against our ticket prices and evidently agents seek to exploit that. But there’s no doubt in my mind that we do also wait a bit too long to enter into contract talks… Read more »


I don’t expect this is about the money (entirely). Sad as it is to say I think these guys want and deserve to win big trophies. They are doing their bit for that now. So they’ll want to commit to a club that they feel is likely to be successful. On the evidence of the last decade it is hard for them to feel confident that they will certainly be so at Arsenal (they don’t even know who will be managing next year and look at what has happened to UTD since Fergie left). We need to win Prem or… Read more »

Stewart Robson's therapist

On your logic they would never have joined Arsenal in the first place.


There’s some. But I think both were at lower points in their career in terms of how much they were getting played and perhaps felt the potential was there at Arsenal. They were also younger. They’ve given it 3 and 4 seasons. At what point do you decide it may never happen and you are in your prime and want to move somewhere with more chance. That I said I hope they do sign of course. More over I hope they are part of a team this season that demonstrates they can win something significant. 2 FA cups was awesome.… Read more »


There’s some truth in that*

Jack Action

I think Wenger is lying, but this is not negative, he really can’t say that he’d sell either during negotiations. Fact is, if negotiations aren’t going anywhere by next August, and if a team comes and offers 60-70 million for either one, we’d have to take it (my fee is lower than what they should be worth only because they’re in the final years of their deals). We can’t start believing any players are irreplaceable and we can’t be blackmailed into trying to match the insane wages at City or United. I love both of them, want them to stay,… Read more »


I take their reluctance as a sign of lack of faith in the club to uphold its end of the bargain regarding the chase for silverware. Sanchez and Ozil need trophies. It’s been an encouraging week but there are still doubts about what the club can achieve under the current leadership. Arsenal will not match the silly money on offer from China etc so they need to be able to offer other things, i.e. glory. I think Arsenal must win the Premier League or Champions League to have a realistic chance of signing Sanchez or Ozil.


Same reason Van Persie left. He played out of skin that last season but it still wasn’t enough. So he left and won the league with someone else.


…..and then. Mwahahahahahahahaha


The facts are that Wenger has sold our star players before, Fabregas, van Persie, Nasri, even to direct rivals, so no matter what he says, he could very well do it again. I really hope he doesn t this time around

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