There is ‘growing resentment’ in ‘some quarters’ of the Arsenal squad towards their top earners.
According to The Times, the pay disparity between new arrivals Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the rest of the Arsenal squad – Mesut Ozil notwithstanding – has ‘unsettled’ some players.
Some believe that the two January signings ‘have yet to justify salaries that dwarf those of their team-mates’.
Arsenal have won just two of eight matches since Mkhitaryan joined, and two of seven since Aubameyang signed from Borussia Dortmund.
The pair are on weekly wages of £200,000 and £180,000 a week respectively, while Ozil penned a new deal worth £350,000 in January too.
Ozil and Mkhitaryan were also two of the three players who the Arsenal squad turned on after the defeat to Brighton.
Matt Hughes writes that ‘Arsenal’s team spirit is being tested’ by the increasing gap in pay throughout the squad.
Arsenal have also made it clear that none of the first-team players whose contracts expire in 2019 will have their wages increased.
Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Nacho Monreal ‘will not be elevated into the top pay bracket,’ and thus could look to leave.