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Wenger hopes trophy hunt will keep key duo at Arsenal

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Britain Soccer Football - Arsenal Training - Arsenal Training Ground - 18/10/16 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during training Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge/ Livepic
Britain Soccer Football - Arsenal Training - Arsenal Training Ground - 18/10/16 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during training Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge/ Livepic

REUTERS - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes a serious challenge for trophies will go a long way towards convincing influential winger Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Mesut Ozil to sign new long-term deals at the club.

Ozil and Sanchez have entered the last 20 months of their current contracts at the Emirates Stadium and will hope to secure hefty pay rises to their reported 140,000 pounds ($171,654.00) per week salaries to stay beyond 2018.

Wenger admitted that while the financial aspects of contract negations were important, it was Arsenal's on-field progress that would prove decisive.

"I think these kind of players can raise a little bit above the financial aspect of the game because they are not poor and they have to look really at the football side," the 66-year-old told British media.

"It is more about whether the club can 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, of course, and we pay what we can afford."

Chile international Sanchez has scored five goals in 10 appearances in all competitions this season, while Germany's Ozil has chipped in with several decisive goals, including the winner against Swansea City last weekend.

Arsenal have won two FA Cups since the 28-year-old Ozil arrived from Real Madrid in 2013, while the 27-year-old Sanchez has one FA Cup winner's medal to his name after moving to North London from Barcelona a year later.

"We still have a scale of wages... But don't worry, they are all paid well. It's normal players try to get the maximum out of the negotiations. They have to feel you meet their needs at the club and they get paid for it," Wenger added.

Arsenal, currently top of their Champions League group, host Bulgarian club Ludogorets Razgrad on Wednesday.

($1 = 0.8156 pounds)

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)


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