Former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista believes one of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will sign a new contract at the Emirates to extend his stay as losing both would be a massive blow for the north London club.

The Gunners are facing the growing possibility of losing both Ozil and Sanchez on free transfers when their contracts expire at the end of June later this year. The Chile international was on the brink of joining Manchester City last summer until a deadline day move fell through. Ozil, on the other hand, has been linked to a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The transfer window in January provides the final opportunity for the Gunners to get something for the duo should they not agree to a new deal. Sanchez is reportedly back in contention for a move to City after manager Pep Guardiola gave the go-ahead to sign the Chilean after losing Gabriel Jesus to a knee injury.

City were hoping to sign Sanchez on a free next summer but interest from Paris Saint-Germain and their lack of options up front has urged Guardiola to think over a move this month. Gabriel, who made his way to Valencia from the Emirates last summer, believes it is unlikely that the Gunners would lose both players as it would be a massive blow to their hopes of staying competitive in the league.

Speaking exclusively in the February 2018 issue of FourFourTwo, Gabriel says: "The team would lose a lot if they left. I would bet at least one of them stays. Don't ask me which one, though!"

The defender failed to make his mark at Arsenal in his two-and-a-half-year spell with the Gunners, after he joined from Villareal in January 2015. Injuries played a part but despite having some brilliant games for the north London club, he never really managed to make a name for himself in the starting eleven on a consistent basis, something he is not happy about.

"The injuries definitely didn't help, but I think I deserved more opportunities at Arsenal," the Brazilian added. "I felt down as the only way I played was if my team-mates were injured. I didn't feel OK with that at all.

"I played one of my best games against City [in last season's FA Cup semi-final] and was very happy, but then came the derby with Spurs and I gave away a penalty, and didn't really play again. I wasn't happy but I'm not mad. I'll always be grateful to Arsenal."

Gabriel Paulista
Gabriel Paulista left Arsenal for Valencia in the summer transfer window Getty