Arsenal stars ‘unsettled by pay divide’ at the club, claims report

2018-03-07 14:47:22

Arsenal players are ‘unsettled’ by the growing pay divide between the majority of the Gunners squad and the club’s recent big signings.

According to a report in The Times , the team spirit at the club is being ‘tested’ by unrest in the dressing room.

Arsenal’s first-team stars have all been paid similar wages in the past, which has contributed to the financial wellbeing of the club.

But those guidelines have been blown apart this season following the January signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan , plus a new big-money contract for Mesut Ozil .

German playmaker Ozil signed a £350,000-a-week deal with the Premier League side at the end of Janaury, while Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang are the club’s next highest earners with weekly wages of £200,000 and £180,000.

Those deals have left a gulf in the pay structure of the club, and some of the Gunners players are said to be resentful of their high-earning team-mates.

The issue is likely to be problematic for Arsenal, who are set to open contract talks with a number of players over the next few weeks and months.

One of those is Jack Wilshere , who is still yet to pen an extension to his current contract which is due to expire in the summer.

Arsenal have an offer on the table for the England international but, because it features a pay cut to his basic wage, he has so far refused to sign it.

It means they could lose the 26-year-old midfielder for nothing in the summer.

The club are also yet to make any progress with Aaron Ramsey , Danny Welbeck and Nacho Monreal , whose contracts expire at the end of next season, while both No.1 and No.2 goalkeepers Petr Cech and David Ospina are due to become free agents in 2019.

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