The festive cheer at Arsenal is in short supply this week after back-to-back defeats to Everton and Manchester City which has seen the Gunners slip to their familiar fourth position and nine points behind leaders Chelsea.
Contract disputes with star players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who both have 18 months remaining on their contracts, will leave the Emirates faithful fearful of losing both players and any chance of domestic success.
The Telegraph have reported that manager Arsene Wenger has set his sights on German international Marco Reus should either not renew their contracts and depart the club.
While Wenger’s priority is to sign both players to long term contracts, Reus is seen as the ideal replacement for Alexis Sanchez and can be deployed as a main central striker or in one of the attacking roles currently occupied by Sanchez.
The Borussia Dortmund attacker’s career has been blighted by injury but when fit has attracted the interest of top European clubs including Arsenal in the past due to his goal-scoring record; an average of 20 goals a season in the Bundesliga.
His loyalty to the German club, with whom he is contracted to until the summer of 2019, has been admiral which could prove difficult for Wenger to persuade the 27 year old to join the Premier League.
While both Sanchez and Ozil are under contract and are happy living in England, Wenger has in the past sold players in similar situations when they have failed to extend their contracts.
Arsenal fans will be eager for both players to stay if they are to challenge for their first title since 2004. With both Sanchez and Ozil central to Arsenal achieving that goal, negotiations between the club and players will have to have a positive outcome should the club hope to end their 12 year title exile.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena .