EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal will open new contract talks with Jack Wilshere in the summer.
Football Insider sources have learned that the Londoners want to begin negotiations about extending Wilshere’s deal even though his current agreement has three years to run.
Manager Arsene Wenger retains full faith in the Gunners talisman despite the series of serious injuries that have stalled his progress since his breakthrough 2010-11 campaign.
Wilshere has made just 16 Arsenal appearances this season and has been sidelined since last November after undergoing ankle surgery.
The 23-year-old will be seeking a deal that lifts his current £90,000-a-week package in line with fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who signed a £110,000-a-week contract 12 months ago.
Ramsey was given a big pay rise on the back of an outstanding season and even though his original deal, which was announced in December 2012 at the same time as those of of Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberalin, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson, already had four years left.
Arsenal will also look to tie Wilshere down beyond 2018 and demonstrate their commitment to a player Wenger regards as a key figure in the team’s long-term plans.
The England midfielder was set to make his long-awaited comeback last month but it was put on hold after he felt pain in his troublesome right ankle.
Wilshere is now back in full training and closing in on a first-team comeback after making his return last Tuesday in a behind-closed-doors friendly win over Brentford.