Date: 19th October 2016 at 10:41pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger was speaking about transfers and player contracts ahead of last night’s Champions League clash against Ludogorets.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s appearance on Goals on Sunday alongside his old man last weekend, questions about his future also featured in the press conference.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media, Wenger is pretty used to answering questions about transfers this season, and this time he explained.

‘We are of course in a position. I think these kind of players they can raise a little bit above the financial aspect of the game because they are not poor and they have to look really on the football side. Do the club meet their needs on the football front? If ‘yes`, then a Premier League club can find an agreement with the players. We still keep values we have at the club – we pay what we can afford.’

Asked whether the ‘art’ of a player contract has changed over the last five years, the answer was obviously yes.

‘Yes, basically when you sign a contract for four years, you sign for two. Because of the simple fact that just to keep the value of the player you have to extend the contract. It is a little bit illogical because that means that it is inflationary, because never you extend a contract to offer less. That means the status of a football player today creates inflation inside the clubs just because of the commercial value. Look, I find when you start a contract, you agree to commit for the length of the contract for the money you have signed for – but that is basically not the case because of the fact that you only retain the value of the player as you extend the contract two years before the end of a contract, or sometimes one year before. Then you are always in a delicate situation because now do you sell with one year to go knowing you will get less money than when he has two years? Basically you have not much choice.’

He also spoke in light of that of the importance of having a scale of wage inside a club to keep things sensible.

‘Yes but we have still a scale of wages. It has become a bit more individual than when I arrived 20 years ago because every case is a bit special. Exactly. It has changed a little bit but anyway you don’t need to worry – they are all paid well!’

Asked whether or not he blames players for attempting to inflate their wages thesedays in line with what they could potentially earn elsewhere as a negotiating technique, he knows it’s how the game has gone and it’s like life in normal, you always try and get the best deal for yourself, and equally the club tries to get the best deal for itself.

‘I blame nobody. If you were a player you would try the same. You try to earn as much as you can. Honestly, my whole life I fight to get the players paid as much as I can. I want as well to be responsible, to pay them the money you can afford to pay. Yes. It is not to get them on board. I think the best way to get them on board was to play the football I like, but it helps. It was at a period of change, a change of TV income, and we moved very quickly from 250 to one million per player. Of course what helped the players even more was that they were all 30, so for them every year was a big bonus, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34. Before 30 they didn`t earn that kind of money.’

As for the Ox, Wenger went on to say that he felt he would soon see the rewards of his work on the training pitch both in terms of a new deal but also the game time he’s after.

Clarifying what the player said on the telebox last weekend, Wenger explained that he didn’t say he would leave the club per se, just that he would assess things because like all players, he wants to be playing regularly and he understood that.

‘He didn`t say that. He said he will consider the situation at the end of the season. That is completely different. I can understand, but on the other hand, you buy a young player at 17 years of age, you spend a lot of money, then you would like him to stay at the club. I think his place is here. We like him. I personally rate him as a player and I hope that he will show that he can have a stable position in the team until the end of the season. This season he has been similar to Walcott. He has not got rewarded yet. But he is in a similar position because he has worked really hard.’

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