Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are no closer to signing new terms with Arsenal. Both players are currently under contract at the Emirates Stadium for a further two-and-a-half years, and reports earlier in the season suggested that the Gunners were eager to offer attractive new deals in order to fend off any potential transfer interest.
Ozil, who became Arsenal's record signing when he joined in a £42.4m ($62.1m) deal from Real Madrid in September 2013, has been instrumental to their title challenge this term, providing eight more assists than any other player in the Premier League. Former Barcelona forward Sanchez, meanwhile, has yet to recapture any sort of consistent form since returning from a hamstring injury in January.
"No that's not close, no," Wenger was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo when asked about possible contract extensions at a press conference held before the visit of relegation battlers Swansea City on 2 March.
On Sanchez's recent struggles, he added: "He's fighting to get back to his best. We want him to fight."
While Arsenal supporters may harbour legitimate concerns that neither Ozil nor Sanchez have yet been tied down to a new lucrative long-term deal, Wenger has previously appeared unconcerned by the issue.
"We have not started to talk about that with Mesut Ozil," he said prior to a 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion in November. "Sanchez is the same situation – at the end of the year they have a two-and-a-half years' contract. We have some time. We are not in a hurry. We want of course for them to stay in the club, and we'll start negotiations at some stage, but at the moment we have not started."
Third-place Arsenal, who sit five points adrift of leaders Leicester City following a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Manchester United on 28 February, have not been reluctant to hand out contracts since last summer, with both Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla putting pen to paper during pre-season, along with Mikel Arteta. Academy graduate Alex Iwobi and Spanish right-back Nacho Monreal have also extended their respective stays in recent months.