The saga of whether Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will sign new contracts with Arsenal continues. Figuring out which stories are factual and which are not has become a challenge
The term “fake news” has become popular in recent times due to Donald Trump. Perhaps the Donald came up with the phrase based on news reports concerning the ongoing contract situation with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
As fans already know, both stars have just one year remaining on their current contracts with the Gunners. The ‘will they or won’t they sign saga’ has been going on all season.
Adding to fans’ frustration is the less than accurate reporting coming from the sports media regarding both players’ situation. Determining the facts from the fiction has become difficult. It seems as if every week a new report emerges based on pure speculation or a journalist’s interpretation of the latest gossip.
Here’s a look at just some of the various stories that have emerged recently about the Ozil and Sanchez contract situation. As you’ll see, the line between what’s real and what’s not has become blurred.
How the papers have been reporting the Mesut Ozil contract situation
March 14th The Express – Jose Mourinho eyes stunning double move for Arsenal stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil
Here’s a provocative headline based on nothing but speculation. Apparently Mourinho admires Ozil and Sanchez and knows that they are out of contract at the end of next season. That’s it. There is not one quote from Mourinho or anyone at United included in this “story”. So of course The Express takes that simple premise and turns it in to a “stunning double move”. The article even includes mock photos of both players in Manchester United jerseys. Don’t bet on this one ever happening.
More from Arsenal FC
- Gunners do just enough to claim victory in season opener
- Arsenal: We bottled it but I don’t care
- Arsenal complete record deal for Declan Rice
- Arsenal splurges on transfers as they aim to collect silverware
- Arsenal complete the signing of Kai Havertz
March 22nd Daily Star – Arsenal star Mesut Ozil could make shock summer move to Fenerbahce
Here the rag that is the Daily Star takes a rumor from the Daily Mirror and runs with it as if it’s a fact. There are no quotes and no sources other than a competing newspaper. The best “proof” offered here is that Ozil is dating a former Miss Turkey. Of course that means Fenerbahce. That in itself is almost laughable.
Mesut Ozil’s mother is added to the equation
March 29th Daily Star – Mesut Ozil: My mum wants me to leave Arsenal
Let’s give the Daily Star credit here for at least including a couple of quotes from Ozil. In this story the midfielder is asked if he would consider moving back to Germany. His answer, “Many family members – my mother especially – would welcome it if I were closer to home.I still have a year on my contract and I love this club [Arsenal].”
The Daily Star takes Ozil’s statement and totally twists its meaning. Nowhere does he say that his mother wants him to leave Arsenal. All he said is his family wishes he was nearer to them. Now that’s an example of pure “fake news”
March 30th ESPN – Wenger confident Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil want to stay at Arsenal
This article accurately reports what manager Arsene Wenger said. The problem is that Wenger is saying what he hopes will happen, not what will truly happen. In other words, this is another story that offers no proof and doesn’t take away the uncertainty surrounding both players.
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates scoring his side’s second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Hull City at Emirates Stadium on February 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
How the papers have been reporting the Alexis Sanchez contract situation
March 5th Sky Sports – European papers: Juventus want Alexis Sanchez for £25m
So now the plot thickens. Add Juventus to the list of clubs that will be signing Sanchez this summer. So far Sanchez is going to Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, PSG and Juventus. Again, this headline comes from a rumor with no attribution.
March 18th Metro – Alexis Sanchez does not like Arsene Wenger, claims Harry Redknapp
This story is truly comical. If anyone knows what Sanchez is thinking it’s got to be Harry Redknapp. The former Spurs manager was asked about the Sanchez situation on BT Sport. He stated, “Sanchez is not happy, whether he likes the manager or not… doesn’t look like it to me.”
To be fair, Redknapp was just stating a possibility. Metro took that innocent statement and ran with a headline that completely changes what was actually said.
Alexis Sanchez never says the word Chelsea
This one is truly ridiculous. Sanchez is asked about whether he will remain with Arsenal. His response, “I’d like to stay in London but with a team that’s winning things”. Nowhere does he mention Chelsea. Nor does he say he wants to leave Arsenal. To fit its own anti Arsenal narrative, the writer takes Sanchez’s words and interpret them to create a story that doesn’t exist.
More from Playing for 90
- Alexia Putellas reaches 400 games with Barcelona
- Everything you need to know ahead of the 250th ‘Super Clásico’
- Barcelona put five past Real Betis
- Manchester City suffer but come away with win over West Ham
- Baffling Liga MX ruling strips Puebla of a hard-earned victory
There are a lot of teams in London. Maybe Sanchez was referring to West Ham, Fulham, Charlton, Brentford, etc. No, The Telegraph has determined that his words implied Chelsea.
March 30th Esquire – Arsenal fans look away, Alexis Sanchez has basically confirmed his departure
Here’s another spin on Sanchez’s quote about wanting to stay in London. In this story Sanchez says, “I’m happy in London and I want to finish my contract. That’s what I want. I like to stay in one place, one city, where the team fights for titles.”
I would interpret that as a positive sign for Arsenal fans. He wants to finish his contract, he’s happy in London, he wants to stay in one place.
Apparently Esquire doesn’t see it that way. Somehow all that positivity has been taken to mean that Sanchez is done and will be leaving the club. Where did he say that? This is the best example of “fake news” yet.
Stay tuned as the Ozil and Sanchez story continues to unfold.