Arsène Wenger wants to push new contract talks with Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, whose deals at Arsenal expire in the summer of 2019. However, the manager has warned that because of the inflation of the transfer market, more and more players are set to enter the last years on their contracts.
Arsenal have a clutch of players in their final 12 months, most notably Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil, and there would be consternation if Ramsey and Welbeck were to go down the same path. Welbeck is currently out until mid-October with a groin injury but he started the season well while Ramsey was impressive in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Chelsea.
“It is something we want to address,” Wenger said in relation to fresh terms for Ramsey and Welbeck. “Both of them are in a good moment for us. But with the level of transfers and the amounts that players expect on their contracts, you will have more and more players going into the final year of their contracts. You will be in a position where you either extend for money you cannot afford or you go into the final year of their contract.
“This season, there were 107 players in the Premier League who got into the final year of their contract and you will see that more. The clubs want too much money for normal players.
“They say that if one player is worth £200m [like Neymar], then this player is worth £50m. But everybody knows for that player £50m is too much and they cannot afford it. So what happens? The club cannot sell and doesn’t extend the contract, so more and more players are going into the final year of their contract.”
Wenger noted that Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, had recently urged Uefa and Fifa to introduce new rules to control the spending on transfer fees. In light of his suggestion that the market has become increasingly blocked, the Arsenal manager was asked whether he foresaw the end of fees being paid for players.
“Something will happen,” he replied. “For the first time, on the political front, the German prime minister has come out and, also, the president of Uefa has come out. I think, politically, something will happen in the next 12 months to regulate and limit the transfer amounts.
“You have to go one of two ways – regulate it properly or leave it completely open. You cannot be in between and that is where we are at the moment. It is only to the advantage of some clubs who can deal with the [financial fair play] rules in a legal way.
“The regulation has to be stricter and clearer, or open the market completely and you can do what you want provided you can guarantee you have the money to pay. At the moment, we are a bit in between and that does not work.”
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