By Max Mathews
Last Updated: 21/05/19 12:55pm
Arsenal’s managing director Vinai Venkatesham has revealed the club will look to sell anyone entering the final two years of their contract should they not wish to renew their deals.
That will have direct implications for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos this summer, who all see their deals run out in 2021.
Laurent Koscielny also has just a single year remaining on his contract – and Venkatesham has admitted this policy is to avoid situations like key player Aaron Ramsey joining Juventus on a free transfer this summer.
“When we are selling players we need to maximise the funds we get to reinvest in the team,” Venkatesham told the club’s website.
“We need to be really disciplined when we are dealing with senior players who are not towards the end of their careers.
“That means we have to start making the difficult decisions when they have two years left on their contracts. We’re either going to renew those contracts or we’re going to be selling them.
“We have to be brave in those decisions because we can’t be in a situation where we’re allowing players to walk out of the door for free unless they are coming towards the end of their careers.”
Alexis Sanchez left for Manchester United on a swap deal with Mkhitaryan in January 2018, to avoid him losing him for nothing in the summer.
Mesut Ozil also agonised over a deal before eventually signing a £350,000-a-week contract the same month.
Alexandre Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi, Alex Iwobi and Mohamed Elneny, whose contracts run out in 2022, could face the same issues next summer.