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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Alexis Sanchez is locked in contract stalemate with Arsenal because he wants pay parity with Mesut Ozil, Football Insider sources understand.
The Chilean attacker is in talks with the Gunners about extending his current £130,000-a-week deal, which expires in two years.
But a well-placed source has told Football Insider that Sanchez wants his new agreement to be on a par with the deal handed to Ozil, who is also in negotiations about an extension.
Discussions with the German playmaker, 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, also 27, has been offered a deal worth £160,000-a-week but has not yet put pen to paper.
The Chile international, who joined from Barcelona in the summer of 2014, believes he should earn the same basic salary as Ozil because he is equally valuable to the team.
Sanchez has not been as effective in his second season at Emirates Stadium as he was in a sensational debut campaign but has still scored 17 goals and supplied 11 assists from 40 appearances.
The stand-off has prompted reports that Sanchez could quit the club in the forthcoming transfer window, with Bayern Munich and Juventus among the clubs monitoring his situation.
Arsenal are keen to tie the duo down to new deals within weeks, as well as hand an improved contract to talismanic midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed in recent weeks that the club have opened talks with Ozil and Sanchez about fresh agreements, and there is confidence among the hierarchy that the key duo will commit.
As revealed by Football Insider, Wilshere will also be handed a new contract that will extend his time with the club he joined as an eight-year-old.
A well-placed Arsenal source has told Football Insider that the injury-plagued midfielder, 24, is ready to commit to a deal that will lift his salary to £110,000-a-week and run until 2021.
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 trio for many months.
“These two players have two years to go on their contracts at the end of the season,” Wenger said last month. “So that is why we are not in a hurry. The players are very keen to stay and we are talking.”
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, the Gunners are expected to field a £25million offer this week for one of their star names.