History may look kindly on this spell at Arsenal but if the contract rebels all walk away next summer, the combustible atmosphere around the Emirates may explode.
The latest to reject the terms proposed by the Gunners is 23-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Concerned by the lack of career progression since joining from Southampton in 2011. In those six seasons, he has played 194 games for Arsenal but in many positions.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to lay down a marker for the benefit of his long-term career. He has made no secret of his desire to play in central midfield and Arsene Wenger made the right noises last season about playing on the wing being part of his education.
The England international, desperate to lay a claim to a place in Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up, saw action at the tail-end of last season in both wing-back positions, including a sparkling performance in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain wants guarantees that he features in the Arsenal manager’s thinking and will get more first team action. Chelsea and Liverpool are both monitoring the situation closely with Sky Sports claiming that Antonio Conte is preparing to make a £35m bid for the midfielder.
The biggest question for the midfielder is whether those clubs will leave him in a better situation.