AW: Pay may be a contract killer

Wenger saw key midfield duo Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leave

Emirates Stadium in the summer as the lure of Barcelona and

Manchester City proved too much to turn down. And with captain

Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin, Thomas Vermaelen and Theo

Walcott all coming towards the final 18 months of their current

deals there are concerns that they could be the next to depart.

Wenger confirmed that discussions are due to get under way with the

quartet immediately, but concedes that whatever the North London

club can offer may not be enough. “The process on new contracts

starts now. We will try to re-sign them all, but we tried before,”

the Frenchman said. “The gap on that front has become bigger for

us, so I cannot today say that if we go to the maximum we are sure

to sign a player. Even if we do that we are not sure. “We try to

convince the players. Our desire is there to do it and we are ready

to sit down with them, which is what we will do, but after we see

where we go. “Cesc is a bargain for Barcelona. With Nasri, at least

we got a reasonable price for a player with one year to go. “With

Cesc, we were forced into a situation because he is one of the best

midfielders in the world. We knew we would sell for less than he is

worth.”