By Editor Wayne Veysey| Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Jack Wilshere is close to agreeing a new £31.5million Arsenal contract, Football Insider sources understand.
The injury-plagued midfielder is ready to commit to a deal that will lift his salary to £110,000-a-week and run until 2021.
Wilshere’s current £90,000-a-week agreement has two-and-a-half years left but the Londoners do not want to risk a situation where he could be antagonised into pushing for a transfer.
Talks have been taking place since the summer about an extension and all parties are now confident that an agreement is nearly in place.
Manager Arsene Wenger retains full faith in the Gunners talisman despite some off-field controversies and the series of serious injuries that have stalled his progress since his breakthrough 2010-11 campaign.
Wilshere is closing in on a return from the fractured left fibula that has kept him out for the entire season.
As revealed by Football Insider, Arsenal have offered the England international a lucrative package that would lift him into the second bracket of earners at Emirates Stadium, behind best-paid duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez but alongside Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott, who signed a new four-year contract in the summer.
Ozil is hoping to secure a £180,000-a-week deal that will elevate his salary by £50,000-a-week and make him the highest-paid player in Arsenal history.
Wilshere was a target of Manchester United and their neighbours Manchester City in the summer but Arsenal have no intention of cashing in on their academy graduate and will continue to reject any bids for him.