(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes midfielder Mesut Ozil and striker Alexis Sanchez are keen on extending their contracts beyond the end of next season with the Premier League club.
Ozil and Sanchez are holding out for a huge increase in their salary, according to British media reports, while Wenger has previously said that contract talks are on hold until the end of the season.
Sanchez, who has indicated he would like to see out his contract, is the club’s top scorer with 22 goals this season.
“I personally believe both of them want to stay. I hope the club will find an agreement with them,” Wenger told reporters on Thursday.
Calls for Wenger to end his 20-year role have grown louder after Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League in the last-16 for a seventh straight season and lost four of their last five league matches to slide down to sixth.
Wenger is keen to extend his stay, according to British media reports, but said his future at the club is far from certain.
“I am very clear in my mind. Do I stay two more years? My commitment will be the same. It does not influence my attitude,” Wenger added. “It’s a subject that is not sorted completely.”
Wenger also rejected suggestions that the uncertainty surrounding his future was causing instability at the club and impacting results.
“No, we won’t look for excuses. Results are not what we want. Priority is what happens on the pitch,” he said, while backing the introduction of video technology to review decisions in the sport.
Midfielder Santi Cazorla, who was initially expected to return early this year, will not play again this season as the 32-year-old Spaniard has failed to recover from an ankle injury sustained in October last year, Wenger confirmed.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech, who limped off during Arsenal’s loss at West Bromwich Albion this month, is expected to miss the next two games with calf injury.
Striker Lucas Perez will also sit out Sunday’s match against third-placed Manchester City with a thigh problem.
Wenger hinted Arsenal will be active in the next transfer window.
“We have a strong foundation but the team needs to be strengthened,” he added.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly