Arsene Wenger says handing Mesut Ozil a new contract was the “cheapest option” available to Arsenal.
It is being widely reported that the 29-year-old has become the highest paid player in the club's history as a result, with speculation his wages have risen from around £140,000-a-week to £350,000-a-week.
But Wenger believes sourcing a replacement for Ozil - who had entered the last six months on his previous contract - would have proven costlier.
“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,” Wenger said.
“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 new contract completed a remarkable few days for Arsenal following the earlier arrivals of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Both Ozil and Mkhitaryan are expected to feature as the north Londoners take on Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Aubameyang, however, faces a late fitness test for the match at the Emirates Stadium due to being ill over the past couple of days.