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, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere will put pen to paper on new contracts within weeks, Football Insider sources understand.
The key trio all have two years to run on their current deals and the club are keen to tie them down to extensions.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed in recent weeks that the club have opened talks with Ozil and Sanchez about fresh agreements.
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.
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 three deals will cost Arsenal a combined £450,000-a-week.
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.
Ozil and Sanchez, who are the club’s record signings, are widely regarded as Arsenal’s two most important players.
“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.”
Wilshere’s current deal is worth £90,000-a-week, while 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 when he moved from Barcelona in 2014.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners have been given a boost in their bid to sign one of their priority summer targets.