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Arsenal‘s chairman appeared to fire a warning to contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the club’s latest financial statement.
Both players have less than 18 months left to run on their contracts and have reportedly been pushing for wages closer to £250k-a-week.
But Sir Chips Keswick, while announcing a pre-tax profit of £12.6m for the six months to November 2016, has warned the club will be ‘rational’ when it comes to any contract negotiations, suggesting the club will not be held to ransom.
‘As expected Premier League broadcasting revenues have had a direct impact on player costs both in terms of transfer prices and player wage demands,’ Sir Chips said in a statement.
‘Whilst these are the market forces that have contributed directly over time to the success of the Premier League I would sound a note of caution in light of the very material contractual commitments to future wages that clubs are taking on.’
That may not come as good news to fans hoping to tie down Ozil and Sanchez – who has looked increasingly unhappy with life at the Emirates in recent weeks – to long-term deals.
Arsenal’s profit came despite a record summer of transfer spending in 2016.
The club paid a combined £110.5m for the signings of Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Rob Holding.
The chairman also pointed to the club’s continued investment in its training facilities and youth academy as he sought to reassure fans that the money was being spent wisely.
Francis Coquelin, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud have also all signed new deals in the past year while the club has extended the contracts of Per Mertesacker and Santi Cazorla.