Arsenal will reluctantly listen to offers for Mesut Özil next summer if he does not lower his astronomical wage demands.
Both Özil and Alexis Sánchez only have 18 months remaining on their contracts, and Arsenal are still hopeful of striking an agreement with the star duo.
Chelsea are the latest club to join the queue of interested parties monitoring the situation of Sánchez, but it is Özil who is currently thought to be more expendable if Arsenal are forced to consider cashing in.
Put another way, “OK Arsenal, if you think you can go around winning a Champs League group and scoring goals all over the place, just you wait to see what stories we come up with tomorrow even if the headline is contradicted by the paragraph below it.”
“Some sources claim Özil and Sánchez want £20million-a-year, £384,000-a-week, to re-sign with the Gunners and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has appealed for them not to let money decide their futures.”
This is the exact opposite of what the Guardian said just one day before when it quoted what Mr Wenger said in a press statement, “Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal’s hopes of securing Alexis Sánchez to a new long‑term contract will depend more upon convincing the forward of the “values” and ambition of the club than the financial package on the table.”
Things have come to a pretty pass when newspapers can’t even agree with each other what stories to make up.
The point of course is that just as the Leicester Mercury can make a claim and then utterly fail to live up to it by providing evidence or facts, or preferably both, so can the Telegraph as with…
Neither Özil nor Sánchez would be prepared to earn less than the other at the Emirates. Arsenal could afford to pay £15m-a-year, £288,000-a-week, to one of them but it is unlikely they would sanction such a big contract for both men.
No evidence of course. But anyway we can always read on in the story and find a contradiction, as with the fact that Alexis “became frustrated with life at Arsenal last season, but his attitude has markedly improved this term and he appears happier.”
And this is really what it all comes down to. “Appears”. And “appears” is not evidence, nor a source of information. “The man standing 10 yards away from me appears to be two inches tall” is about as helpful although it does make an apposite comment on the lack of perspective in these stories.
[For Telegraph readers let me explain: perspective has two meanings – putting things in context, and the fact that objects at a distance appear to be a lot smaller than they really are. OK? Good.]
Indeed it becomes even more bizarre as the Telegraph, having given us the doom, the gloom and quite probably several other words ending in “oom” which I currently can’t think of, then adds
Özil has also insisted he is happy at the Emirates, but fluttered his eyelids towards his former club Real in an interview in Spain that was published last week.
In fact this is the total and entire source of the Özil rumours – his statement that, “I am very happy playing in such a big club like Arsenal, which has amazing fans and they also encourage me a lot. I am playing very well in London, but in football you never know… We’ll see what happens in the future.”
There is one other footnote to this. The Telegraph then quote Ray Wilkins. Now Ray Wilkins currently has very serious personal problems for which he is, I am delighted to say, seeking the proper help and support, and at the moment he should be allowed to get himself back together in peace and quiet. So for the Telegraph then to say, “Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins believes Arsenal should keep Wilshere and let Özil go, saying: “I’d have Sánchez all day long. I’d bring Jack Wilshere back and let Özil go”,” really isn’t helpful to Mr Wilkins in particular, nor indeed to Telegraph readers in general.
So there we have the non-stories from the last transfer window and the next. That is not everything but I think the tales of Draxler, Bazoer, Pulisic and others should be left for another day.
But let me send you away smiling.
Sánchez ready to play hardball after Chinese offer £400,000 a week
According to the report, an unnamed Chinese Super League club is ready to offer Sánchez, 27, an eye-watering £400,000 a week deal – a massive £270,000 a week increase – that would see the Chilean earn over £20 million a year.
Sweet isn’t it.