By Matt Farr
Arsenal are making excellent progress in their negotiations with two first-team stars over new contracts, according to a report.
Arsene Wenger has been working hard in recent weeks to retain the services of his most-prized assets, and French outlet RMC Sport claim that Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin have committed their long-term futures to the north London club.
Giroud, who has been linked with a move away from the Emirates after a lack of first-team opportunities, has agreed to a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2019.
His French team-mate Coquelin has reportedly agreed to stay at the club until 2021, a move which will delight Arsenal fans.
Coquelin has been an integral part of Arsenal’s midfield since his breakthrough season in 2014-15, and has made 17 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this term.
Giroud, meanwhile, missed much of the first-half of the season with injury, but since his return, has failed to knock the in-form Alexis Sanchez off his stride.
Sanchez has contributed 13 goals and 11 assists from 21 appearances this term, making it very hard for a returning Giroud to earn his place back in the side as Arsenal’s leading man.
When called upon though, Giroud has performed well, scoring five goals from 13 games.
RMC Sport also claim that Laurent Koscielny is close to signing a new deal, but there is no news yet on Arsenal’s premier duo, Sanchez and Ozil.
The Express, meanwhile, claim that first-team quartet Per Mertesacker, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are also in talks over contract extensions, as Wenger prepares to keep his best players on board.
In other Arsenal news, Arsene Wenger has opened preliminary talks over the sale of this player next month.