ESPN pundit Steve Nicol does not believe Arsenal will part ways with either Mesut Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the end of the season. The north London side have experienced a mixed set of fortunes across all competitions but they still have a good chance of making the Champions League next term.
Speaking to ESPN, Nicol highlighted that the Gunners would prefer sanctioning the sale of Ozil in the summer but the same won’t happen, considering the hefty £350,000-a-week wages he is currently on, he said: “I’m sure they’d love to [sell Ozil] but it’s not going to happen for that very reason [his wages]. Plus you add the fact that he’s not a regular starter. “So no, he goes nowhere, that’s a miss.”
When asked about Mkhitaryan, Nicol stressed that the Armenian remains a much more important figure than Ozil and he could have a prominent role to play for the club next term, he added: “No I don’t think they can [shift Mkhitaryan]. Not quite so much to do with the money for me. Mkhitaryan, he can play in a few roles for me. He can play in a wide position, he can also play off the front guy if Unai Emery wants to do that, which he’s capable of changing, Emery.”
“The Gunners are understood to have planned a limited £45m budget for the summer and based on this“, there have been suggestions that they could offload a few first-teamers to boost the kitty. However, that may not necessarily be the case and the focus could lie on qualifying for next season’s Champions League which should no “doubt enhance their budget“
Arsenal are currently fourth in the league standings with eight matches to play and they have a relatively easier schedule which should assist the objective of sealing Champions League football. If not, they may need to win the Europa League to do so, but that remains much trickier with a difficult-looking quarter-final tie against Napoli to contend with.