On the eve of the 2017-18 season, Arsenal have no less than six first-team players on a swift collision course with severe contractual issues. While Wenger doesn’t seem too bothered by this inside his own reality distortion field, the fact remains that hugely important players like Alexis Sánchez, Mesut Özil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (plus Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, and Kieran Gibbs) all will be out of contract next summer.
Chelsea have been linked with moves for both Alexis and Ox, but while the former looks set to stay now, the rumors around the latter continue to revolve around failed contract negotiations. Arsenal may of course continue to stubbornly refuse to sell to Chelsea, they’re not quite on the level of, say, Spurs and Levy in terms of refusing to do business with the Blues. So while slight, Chelsea do remain in with a chance to add the 23-year-old versatile midfielder to the squad before the transfer deadline.
Chelsea’s chance of landing Oxlade-Chamberlain will also depend on wages. With a contract from 2013, the Ox appears to be rather underpaid in today’s market conditions, stuck on £65k/week or so and is thus looking for significant improvement with the next contract he signs. According to terrible source Daily Star, his demands are £120,000 per week, which apparently doesn’t fit Arsenal’s much vaunted wage structure.
Sure, the Star, are one of the less trustworthy papers in the country, however given the (lack of) developments in the contract negotiations of Sánchez and Özil, it’s hardly a surprise to see Arsenal standing firm over wages with another player, too.
We can certainly question whether Oxlade-Chamberlain is even worth these wages, but in a market environment where Kyle Walker is a £50 million player, the Ox’s demands may just be the new norm. And Chelsea usually have far fewer qualms about paying that much.