Football

Wenger won't sell Oezil, Sanchez

Arsenal boss will not cash in on duo, even if it means letting their deals run out

Arsene Wenger has warned Mesut Oezil and Alexis Sanchez they will not leave Arsenal before their contracts expire in 18 months' time, even if they don't agree to new deals at the club.

The Gunners boss suggested he would let the pair leave for free if their contracts run down rather than cash in on either of them as he did when he sold former captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United in 2012.

Reports earlier this week suggested that both Oezil and Sanchez want pay rises to take them on par with the best-paid players in the Premier League.

In the past, the Gunners have lost some of their top names to clubs able to offer more money, but Wenger suggested that elite players are attracted more to the challenge than pay packets.

Wenger, who also said he could offer no assurances to Arsenal fans that the pair will remain beyond their current deals, did insist they would be at the club at least for the next year and a half.

SELL

Asked if he will not sell Sanchez or Oezil if they get down to having a year left in their deals, the Frenchman said: "I'm not the only one who can decide that. A contract is negotiations, in this case, between two parties.

"On my side, the best position is to achieve it earlier. These players will stay here for at least 18 months.

These players have 18 months on their contracts and, no matter what happens, they’ll stay for 18 months. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Oezil and Sanchez

"At some stage, you have to accept that negotiations are private and secret, and we do not always have to come out every day to explain what we do.

"We are professionals, we work until the last day of our contracts with full commitment.

"These players have 18 months on their contracts and, no matter what happens, they will stay for 18 months.

"Hopefully, they'll stay for longer than that."

While Wenger may be hopeful over extending the deals of both players, despite reported interest from rival Premier League clubs and the Chinese Super League, he admitted he could offer no guarantees to Arsenal fans.

"None," he replied when asked if he could assure supporters of new contracts for Sanchez and Oezil.

"They have 18 months left on their contracts and they are completely committed to do well as long as they are here.

"Beyond that, we'll try to extend their contracts, but I cannot make that the subject in every press conference because it's a normal part of every renewal when you renegotiate.

"The less you talk about it, the better it is."

Sanchez has been linked with a move to China, with suggestions he has been offered £400,000 (S$718,000) a week, but Wenger was dismissive of that potential destination.

WHY

"I believe it, yes, why not but why should you go to China when you're playing in England today?," he said.

"We live in a world where great players like Alexis and Oezil earn a lot of money and they have the privilege of choosing where they really want to play." - PA SPORT

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