By Editor Wayne Veysey | 17 years experience of breaking major stories at Evening Standard, PA and Goal, including exclusives like this

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Arsenal are confident Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will imminently put pen to paper on new contracts worth a combined £340,000-a-week, Football Insider sources understand.

The key duo have entered the final two years of their current deals and the club are keen to tie them down to extensions.

Arsene Wenger confirmed at the end of last season that Arsenal had opened talks with Ozil and Sanchez about fresh agreements but they were put on hold during the summer.

A well-placed Arsenal source has told Football Insider that discussions with Ozil, 27, are centred around a five-year agreement and will be worth £46.8million, equivalent to £180,000-a-week, supplemented by performance-related bonuses.

Sanchez, 27, is also closing in on a deal worth £160,000-a-week. The two deals will cost Arsenal a combined £340,000-a-week and make them the best-paid players in the club’s history.

Ozil and Sanchez both figured in Arsenal’s 2-1 last-gasp Premier League win over Southampton on Saturday, although the Chile international was only a 62nd minute substitute after his late return from international duty.

Wenger’s public stance is that the Londoners are in no hurry to press ahead with contract talks with Arsenal’s first-teamers but, behind the scenes, the Gunners have been working on deals for the duo for nearly a year.

“These two players have two years to go on their contracts at the end of the season,” Wenger said. “So that is why we are not in a hurry. The players are very keen to stay and we are talking.”

Ozil and Sanchez are on £130,000-a-week, which makes them the club’s equal top earners among the playing staff. Only manager Arsene Wenger earns more than Arsenal’s two most expensive ever signings.

Ozil signed a five-year deal when he joined from Real Madrid in 2013 while Sanchez signed a four-year deal from Barcelona in 2014.

In other Arsenal news, Gunners academy graduate Benik Afobe has tipped this young player from the club for greatness.