Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has express worry that a new big-money contract for forward Alexis Sanchez could destabilise the dressing room and eventually "put the club in trouble."
Wenger is well aware that Arsenal will have to shatter their current wage structure in order to keep Sanchez at the club for the long term, but with midfielder Mesut Ozil also demanding similar money, he is wary of the effects such deals could have on their teammates.
Asked if he was concerned that paying one star player a massive figure could destabilise the team, Wenger told a news conference: "Always. But we must accept as well that modern life has changed a little bit.
We always had a wage schedule that was respected, and players earn so much money now that the cases have become much more individual than global.
"But you have many different opinions there. Some people tell me, 'just give him what he wants.' But then you cannot respect anymore any wage structure and you put the club in trouble as well."
Wenger had, earlier, laughed off a report that Arsenal were ready to hand the former Barcelona star a new deal worth £300,000-a-week in order to stave off reported interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and several clubs from abroad.
Sanchez and Ozil are both out of contract at the end of next season, and Wenger has previously said he is hopeful that deals can be reached with the star duo this summer.
Any new contracts may have to be worth at least £250,000-a-week to put the pair on par with the Premier League's top earners -- a raise of more than £100,000-per-week for each player.
And with a handful of other players set to negotiate new deals this summer as well -- including Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain -- it could lead to more demands for higher wages.
"That is why you have to make the decision in an objective way. Always the club has to be the priority,"
Wenger said. "I understand as well that top players is a big priority but at the end of the day, even for important players, you can only pay as much as you can afford."
Sanchez is one of many top stars who have been linked with a big-money move to China this season, where clubs are paying salaries that are higher than any on offer in Europe.
But Wenger reiterated that players have to take the level of competition into their decision-making as well and not only focus on where they can make the most money.
"I think every club and every player has to make decisions," Wenger said. "Where are your priorities? Where do you want to play? I think the first priority for top players is to play with the best players and in the best league.
The best combination of playing at the top and [making] big money is in England at the moment. So China for me is not a debate."
Source : ESPN