Arsene Wenger has explained what is behind the delay in securing new contracts for some of the club’s most prized assets.
Over the past decade, Arsenal have lost several key members of the first team squad following contractual disputes which were not settled.
Samir Nasri joined Manchester City in 2011 with only a year left on his contract, 12 months later, Robin van Persie jumped ship to become a Manchester United player after being left in a similar position and two years ago, Bacary Sagna ran down his contract to move to the Etihad stadium as a free-agent.
With player like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, whose contracts expire in 2018, yet to sign an extension, speculation linking the Gunners’ stars to rivals clubs have continued.
Arsenal are yet to agree a new deal with neither of the duo but Wenger insists the current influence of big money in football means it is still hard to convince his players to stay regardless of what is happening on the pitch.
“It was always difficult [to negotiate new contracts]. Honestly, what has changed is the size of the numbers but the difficulty was always the same.” the Arsenal manager said
“It’s always difficult to keep the good players because they are wanted by other clubs and it’s normal as well that the players try to get the maximum out of their negotiations because they have 10 years to play at the top level if all goes well.
“So it has always been difficult, you know, just the numbers have changed.”