Arsene Wenger has urged Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil not to let money decide their future – because they will earn a fortune wherever they go.
But the Arsenal boss admitted he might be “naive” in hoping that cash will not be a major factor.
Wenger hinted he could throw on the cavalry at half-time if leaders Paris Saint-Germain can be chased down.
But a longer-term focus is tieing down Sanchez and Ozil to new deals, with both men out of contract at the end of next season.
The German is the club’s highest earning player on £140,000 per week, just ahead of the red-hot Chilean who scored a stunning hat-trick at West Ham at the weekend.
Talks have been ongoing without a breakthrough in a double test of Arsenal’s increasing financial muscle – and their ability to keep their biggest names happy by winning trophies. The new offer to Ozil is around £200,000-a-week.
“We are in negotiations, yes,” Wenger said. “The players have 18 months away from the end of their contracts, so it’s normal.
“I would like to say the luxury of the modern game should be that it’s not only about the money because the players make good money at this level anyway, wherever they play.