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Arsenal: Contract update; young full-back linked; squad put results above parties

The contract negotiations of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are becoming a daily talking point for Arsenal fans and journalists alike. The pair have only 18 months left on their contracts and the club are keen to sort out their futures as soon as possible. They have played a key role in Arsenal’s start to the season and are seen as the two best players in the side. The talk is that they have both been offered deals around £180,000-a-week, but they are likely to ask for over the £200,000 mark, which could push Arsenal to their limits.

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Although Arsenal have been sourcing potential alternatives like Marco Reus, they won’t want to lose either player as it will make them look weak in the transfer market. That isn’t a message that they want to send out any more as players will continue to look at Arsenal as a stepping stone club to one of the elite. A number of players have done this in the recent past and it is an image that the club can’t afford to have any more, especially if they want to challenge for major honours.

The Mirror are featuring a story that suggests Arsene Wenger may be staying at the club for another season at least, which won’t please the section of the Arsenal support that are demanding a change. The club are believed to be chasing a new left back, with Valencia’s Jose Gaya heading up the shortlist of targets. He is 21 years of age and regarded as a huge talent, which will make him a good fit for Arsenal as they continue to bring in young talent. The left back position is an area of concern as Nacho Monreal is turning 31 in the New Year and Kieran Gibbs is unlikely to get a new deal.

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The young left-back would be a good addition and a player that could develop into one of the league’s best if he does make the move to Arsenal. Valencia are no longer the club that they were, which should make Gaya easier to attain for the Gunners. It is the position that needs to be strengthened in the first team as Monreal has been on the decline in recent months. He remains a good player, but his time as the club’s first choice is coming to an end, especially if they want to challenge for major honours. Although Wenger is going to move on in the next few years, the club should make the transition when their preferred replacement is available. The club are still making progress under the Frenchman, therefore there isn’t a huge need to force him out at the end of this season, despite a recent blip.

Finally, Arsenal defender Gabriel has stated that the players are focused on getting the side back on the right track in terms of results rather than having festive celebrations. Despite many clubs enjoying their Christmas party this week, Arsenal have postponed theirs as the concentrate on getting positive results over the coming weeks, which will be well received by supporters.

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“We players can’t think about partying, we only focus on our job. We are focused on what we have to do…”

This is the right attitude to have and it shows the desire in the Arsenal squad to get back on track in terms of challenging for the title. The past week has been a disappointment, but they need to now show they can bounce back from it and these are the right noises to make. Despite their back-to-back defeats, there is no reason to believe the club can’t have an excellent second half to the season and challenge for the title.

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