Top players want success, not money – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal need to win major trophies in order to keep their best players.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have less than two years of their contracts left to run and are yet to agree extensions.

And Gunners boss Wenger believes the prospect of success rather than more money will be the key to keeping them at the Emirates Stadium.

“They are well paid. I think these kind of players can raise a little bit above the financial aspect of the game because they are not poor and they have to look really on the football side,” Wenger said at a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Ludogorets Razgrad. 

Wenger also conceded that the Bosman ruling means clubs are forced to consider selling players if they cannot tie them to long-term deals.

The Frenchman explained: “It has always been difficult to keep the good players.

“Ideally you don’t go into the final year so that is why we negotiate before that.

“Basically when they sign a contract for four years, they sign for two because of the simple fact that just to keep the value of the player you have to extend the contract.

“You have to extend the contract two years before it is due to end, sometimes one year.

“It means a player’s commercial value is inflationary because you never extend a contract to offer less [money], but you do not have much of a choice.”

Wenger could start with Francis Coquelin in Wednesday’s game.

The midfielder, back after a knee injury, came on as a second-half substitute during Saturday’s 3-2 win against Swansea.