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Wenger won’t break Arsenal wage structure for Alexis

Rumours of a £300,000/week deal seem...far-fetched

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has doused rumours that Arsenal are set to offer Alexis Sanchez a new contract worth £300,000 per week by insisting that he wouldn’t break the Gunners’ wage structure. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the manager said, “Some people tell me: ‘Just give him what he wants.’ But then you cannot respect any more any wage structure and you put the club in trouble as well.”

It’s a fair opinion, for two reasons. The first reason is that once you offer Alexis £300k/week, everyone else at the club will want to see their wages go up similarly. Laurent Koscielny, on £100k/week, would likely want to be closer to Alexis’ fee; so too would Mesut Özil, Petr Cech and Olivier Giroud. Thus it becomes harder to re-sign your players. Secondly, once you offer those wages, players who want to join the club will ask for similarly inflated wages. All of a sudden, a player who you might give £125k/week now will want £200k/week.

Why does this matter? For two reasons. Firstly, Arsenal have a limit with wages. When clubs go under it’s not because of exorbitant transfer fees—those are mostly paid in installments anyway—but exorbitant wages. Secondly, there are Premier League rules that limit how much you can add to your wage bill without increasing non-broadcasting revenue.

Offering Alexis £300k/week pretty much seems a non-starter. If he accepts the deal, he’d make £62.4 million over the next 4 years, which is a lot of money. And beyond that, the ramifications would cost the club more. Some teams can afford that; Arsenal cannot.