Last season at Arsenal, there was uncertainty about whether several players, and the manager, would sign new contracts. Arsene Wenger signed a two-year contract, but once again, some players could be available for free in the summer.
To cut a long story short, Arsenal haven’t learned their lesson. Last season, Alexis Sanchez decided not to sign a new contract with the Gunners. Instead of selling him in the summer to Manchester City for £60m, Arsenal kept the forward and did a swap deal in January where he went to Manchester United and Henrikh Mkhitaryan came to Arsenal.
Mesut Ozil’s contract was due to expire at the end of this season and he kept fans guessing before finally signing a three-and-a-half-year contract in February which will keep him at Arsenal until the summer of 2021, as the club’s highest paid player.
While those contracts sagas have been resolved, there are more on the horizon this summer. Jack Wilshere, who has been at Arsenal since the age of nine, could be leaving his boyhood club for free in the summer. Wilshere has been offered a £90,000-a-week contract which is less than his current £110,000-a-week salary.
Arsenal expect Wilshere to take a pay cut because of his well-documented injury problems but it is no surprise that he isn’t happy with this, especially given the new deals for Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan which has seen Arsenal’s wage bill dramatically increase. Wilshere is Arsenal through and through but if his contract offer is not increased, he could be joining Theo Walcott at Everton.
Aaron Ramsey is the other Arsenal player who could be leaving this summer. The Wales international joined Arsenal a decade ago and has one year remaining on his current deal. Unless he signs a new one, Arsenal might sell him at the end of this season, rather than risk losing him for free in summer 2019.
Since June last year, Arsenal opened contract talks with Ramsey but a new deal has still not been agreed which is rather concerning. Ramsey currently earns in the region of £110,000-per-week but he would like a significant pay rise considering all the new contract deals Arsenal have done recently.
It seems Arsenal have two options; offer Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey new contracts with a substantial pay increase or let them leave in the summer. Losing two of their longest serving players in the same window would be a huge blow.
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