Former Arsenal winger Paul Merson has urged Arsene Wenger to meet Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil's demands to help them sign a new deal. The star duo's contract at the Emirates will run down in the summer of 2018 and have not yet committed their future to the club.
According to The Times, the South American forward is expecting a wage of £250,000-a-week ($312,187 per week) to put pen to paper. The German international is the club's current highest earning player with £140,000-a-week ($174,825 per week) and the Telegraph reports he wants an annual wage of £20m ($25m) to continue his stay beyond the next season.
Sanchez has been the star player for the north London club and is also a fan favourite at Arsenal. He expressed his desire to extend the contract with his current employers, provided the Gunners make the right offer.
Wenger confirmed the club have opened talks with both Sanchez and Ozil. Merson claims the former La Liga stars come as a package and admitted it will be difficult for Arsenal to replace their two key players, if they decide to leave the club after Arsenal fail to meet their demands.
"I think they come as a package. They are on the same wavelength and work together. I think you have to keep both. If you keep one and not the other, I don't think it works," Merson told Sky Sports, as reported by Goal.com.
"I don't see anyone on the same wavelength as those two playing for Arsenal at the moment. If Arsenal want to be a force, they need to keep these players.
"Whoever they buy isn't going to be anywhere near as good as Sanchez and Ozil. It's going to cost them £50 million, at least, and then they have got to pay the wages. Give them what they want."
Arsenal will make a trip to the Etihad as they take on Manchester City in the Premier League on 18 December, Sunday.