Arsene Wenger told reporters that Arsenal are going to have to upend their wage structure in order to keep Mesut Özil. The midfielder has two years remaining on his current contract but the team is keen to renegotiate a deal that would likely see wages jump £140,000/wk to more than £200,000/wk, smashing the previous record - which is his current deal.
Since joining Arsenal, Özil has provided 23 goals and 41 assists in 126 matches and been the heartbeat of the midfield attack. His arrival signified the start of a new dawn for Arsenal; one where the team bought top talent rather than sold it. Now it appears, Arsenal are set to reward top talent equally as well.
Although, Wenger admits it isn’t just about money:
“I don’t think he needs convincing. He wants to stay here. But if you have a good bank, call me.
“It’s not just money. Arsenal can win titles of course. But that’s what we have to show. We are in a league where Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea everybody fights and you cannot guarantee that to anybody.”
The path to the top of the League is pretty clear: buy good players, build around good players, keep good players. The past few seasons, Wenger has done the former regularly, this season seeing the addition of four first team options to strength the squad. Now, Arsenal is set to offer the type of contracts that the top players desire. It begins with Özil, just like it did three years ago.