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Arsene Wenger has hope Mesut Ozil will stay, but not Alexis Sanchez

Arsene Wenger has hope Mesut Ozil will stay, but not Alexis Sanchez
From ESPN - January 12, 2018

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger still thinks there's a good chance Mesut Ozil will extend his contract with Arsenal, but has admitted that Alexis Sanchez wo not be signing a new deal.

Wenger sounded optimistic that a breakthrough could be imminent in contract talks with Ozil, saying he feels more confident now than in the summer that a deal could be reached with the German. Ozil, Sanchez and Jack Wilshere are all out of contract in the summer, meaning Arsenal could have faced a massive rebuilding project, though Wenger now thinks he can keep two of the three.

But having previously said he still wanted Sanchez to stay as well, the Arsenal boss seems to have given up all hope of keeping the Chile international.

"There is still an opportunity for [Ozil] to stay. That's very much open," Wenger told reporters ahead of Sunday's Premier League game at Bournemouth. "It looks like Sanchez will not extend his contract. But we want to keep Jack, and we have an opportunity maybe to keep Ozil. So the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left."

Ozil may still need convincing, though, and could be waiting to see what reinforcements are brought in by the club in this January transfer window. The World Cup winner has openly called for marquee signings in the past, and Wenger admitted that Arsenal's ability to fight for trophies could be just as important as the player's salary.

"It's both, always. These guys want to win, and they want to make money as well," Wenger said. "So they want a combination of the two, which big clubs can give them. Incidentally he won trophies with us. So he wants to fight as well for the Premiership. That's normal when you are at that level."

Arsenal have faced a lot of criticism for letting the contracts of Ozil and Sanchez run down, and could face a similar situation with a handful of players next summer. But Wenger reiterated his stance that this is the new normal because of inflated transfer fees that make it more profitable for players to run down their contracts and then ask for massive signing fees and wages from their new club instead.

"What is a player's calculation? OK, the club wants 50 million or 60 million. And because they want to replace me they have to spend 50 or 60 million. It will not happen. So I wait, and I take a chunk of that contract as a signing fee," Wenger said. "What do the agents do? The agents say to the club, I bring him to you at the end of the contract but you give me a big agent's fee.

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