Arsenal re-signing star attacker Mesut Ozil was the "cheapest option" for the Premier League club, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
Ozil, 29, finally ended speculation about his future by putting pen to paper on a new deal until 2021.
While the Germany international's contract is reportedly worth £350,000 per week, Wenger said it was the best option for Arsenal.
"When you let a player go you have to buy somebody of the same calibre and if you add the transfer needed and the wages will be similar," the Frenchman told UK newspapers.
"On top of that we have to pay a transfer [fee].
"So, overall I think Mesut for us was the cheapest option. On the other side, all of our players are well paid. Very well paid.
"To feel sorry for them – I'm not sure that it's the most objective assessment."
Ozil's re-signing came as a huge boost to Arsenal after the departure of Alexis Sanchez, who joined Manchester United in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
In 20 Premier League games this season, Ozil has contributed four goals and seven assists.
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