Arsenal cannot afford to lose Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil, admits Per Mertesacker
Last Updated: 12/07/17 10:08am
Per Mertesacker admits Arsenal cannot afford to lose Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil this summer if they hope to mount a Premier League challenge.
Sanchez and Ozil are both entering the final years of their respective contracts with the Gunners and have so far refused to sign extensions.
Speaking in Australia as Arsenal prepare for their first pre-season game on Thursday against Sydney FC, Mertesacker said: "We have a strong squad and I think we do not want to lose any players so even in their final contract year, we need them. We cannot afford to lose them.
"If we are talking about championships, then keeping our best players is key."
Sanchez is currently on holiday after competing in the Confederations Cup with Chile and has not travelled with the Arsenal squad to Australia.
But Mertesacker, who is retiring at the end of next season to become Arsenal's academy manager, is confident Sanchez will soon be joining up with the squad.
"He is a warrior on the pitch and I think he wants to come back as quickly as possible," Mertesacker said.
"He hates holidays and he hates to calm down so I am really looking forward to playing alongside him in my last season."
When asked if he expected Sanchez to be at Arsenal next season, Mertesacker replied: "Yeah, definitely."