Originally published on Goonersphere.
At what point does something become untenable?
If stories are to be believed, then our headline acts Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are demanding a kings ransom to continue their excellence in an Arsenal shirt.
Newspapers have always erred toward the dramatic, and it is hard to fathom that our humble Chilean especially is asking for upwards of £250k per week. When do wages hit a ceiling? When does the club step in and put a halt to proceedings?
And if they do, is the fallout worth the hard stance?
If it all is true and Ozil and Sanchez have had their heads turned by their apparent market worth, then if they are also holding firm in talks with the club and threatening their exits from Arsenal – are they nothing more than mercenaries?
Their services go to the highest bidder – apparently Chelsea if the daily rags are to be held up as a beacon of virtue – and the loyalty and affection built up with their previous club and fanbase is destroyed. Badge kissing and pointing were nothing more than a macabre parody of a loyal gladiator doing his duty for his adoring public.
Do we think that our two mercurial men are truly that despicable? Ozil in particular has a huge following and every delicate flick is entrenched in the memory of his cadre of support. Could Mesut be merely holding up a facade when he performs his signature celebration? Are his rare roars of passion a mask?
The guy just bought a £10m pad in London – does that smack of a man who wants to go anywhere anytime soon?
Alexis Sanchez also, with his bouts of heroism, has constructed a bond with Gooners. His exploits with his dogs Atom and Humber, his charitable work for his native country, his infectious energy. They have all served to strengthen his ties to the millions who watch him affectionately each week.
The ball lies at the feet of the club hierarchy. Do they go for broke and realise that in order to progress they must pay these men what they would warrant with other clubs? Are the numbers that are being bandied around actually true?
Like it or loath it, there is a boundary which every set of negotiations have to avoid. If the limit is reached, then there is nowhere else to go. It means that the player has had his head turned by his agent, and that the club just cannot go on with talks. If the wages that are in the stories are to be believed, then that ship may have sailed.
Reputedly, our stars want parity with top earner in the Premiership – Paul Pogba. His wages come in at a hefty £290k a week. At this moment in time, Ozil commands £140k per week and Sanchez brings in £130k per week. There can be no doubt that these players deserve more than they currently earn. In today’s fiscal football scene, these wages are not becoming of what talent these men can unleash.
Arsenal are still deep in talks with both players, and Arsene Wenger has maintained that while these players have eighteen months on remaining on their contracts, the club will continue to attempt to bridge the gap and tie them up for the long term.
The underlining factor is that we want Ozil and Alexis at our club. There will be no shortage of teams who would snap them up if they were to be made available. Money would not be an issue, they would enjoy a fat contract and the club would enjoy a world class player enhancing their squad.
The sources may be wide of the mark or not, but what is true is that these talks may just hold Arsenal’s future in their grasp. If we decide to let them go as we cannot meet their demands, then we will take a step back. We will not be able to match our supposed rivals as we would be letting our two genuine stars go.
If we keep them, then we must compromise and pay them what they are worth, but not be held to ransom.
How much is too much? According to The Telegraph, nothing is too much.