Arsenal are set to throw at least three cut-price offerings of their own into the New Year sales arena.
No reasonable offer looks likely to be refused for Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, and Jack Wilshere – no matter how Arsene Wenger feels about it – if they don’t pen new deals.
The contracts of all three run out next summer when they will be available for free if they don’t sign new ones or, just as importantly, they are not sold in January.
Efforts to tie Ozil and Sanchez down to new deals before then will be stepped up between now and Christmas.
But because of his bad luck with injuries Wilshere, impressive in the Europa League loss at Cologne last Thursday, could be moved on anyway – at the right price.
The midfielder, who spent most of last season on loan at Bournemouth, would welcome a return to the south coast to keep alive his hopes of going to the World Cup finals with England next summer.
He said: “I want to play in the Premier League so of course I’m frustrated, but the team is playing well.
“The boss and I have a good honest relationship so I’m sure we will have a conversation and see where we go from there.”
Ozil, meanwhile, has hinted that he has already had words with Manchester United about a possible move to Old Trafford.
But according to media sources in Spain Wenger will only let him go in January to a European club like Barcelona rather than a Premier League rival like United.
The future of Sanchez is less clear, however, because Manchester City appear to have cooled on the interest they showed in the Chilean in the summer.
What is certain is that the Arsenal board are desperate not to suffer what could add up to a £100million hit if the three stars left for nothing next year.
In the meantime, Wenger will again ring the changes against Burnley this afternoon in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Gunners disappointing show in Cologne.
The Frenchman, who will recall the established stars he rested then, acknowledged that the Lancashire side have been the Premier League’s surprise package this season and has warned his players to beware a potential banana skin.
“They are the most unexpected team to be there with 22 points. You cannot deny that, of course,” he said.
“Every game gives you a different problem to sort out and Burnley will be different,” he added.
“They play a bit deeper than Tottenham because they have a strong defensive efficiency. You have to keep your nerve, even if you have the ball, to be calm and accurate.
“You have to be defensively strong as well because they are very efficient going forward.”