By Will Butcher
Arsene Wenger has decided he wants to keep Jack Wilshere at Arsenal and is planning on offering him a new deal, according to a report.
The Times claim Wenger will hold talks over a new contract with the 25-year-old star when he returns on loan from Bournemouth next week, after breaking his leg against Tottenham.
However, it is believed that Wilshere may reject the new contract with the Gunners, as it is unlikely to be an improvement on his current salary of £80,000-a-week.
Wilshere is also unsure of where he stands in terms of game time with the north London giants, especially after suffering his latest injury setback.
That could see him run down the clock on his current deal which expires in the summer of 2018, giving him more options next year as he would be available on a free transfer.
Arsenal are keen to lock him into a new deal to protect his future transfer value.
The England international suffered a hairline fracture to his left fibula on Saturday, as loan side Bournemouth suffered a 4-0 loss to Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Wilshere had been sent on loan to Eddie Howe’s Cherries by Wenger to prove his fitness, and after making 29 appearances this season it appeared he had shaken off his injury demons.
However, the report claims Wilshere could now even miss the start of the 2017-18 season, but that has not deterred Wenger from giving his Gunners academy product another chance.
Making his competitive debut for Arsenal in September 2008 at just 16 years of age, Wilshere became his side’s youngest ever first-team player. He has gone on to make 160 league and cup appearances under Wenger, scoring 12 times.
Football Insider verdict:
Arsenal will want to keep Wilshere on the books at the Emirates Stadium largely due to the Premier League’s homegrown rules, and to realise the future value of any transfer if he were to be sold. However, for the good of Wilshere’s career, he should look to continue to feature regularly in a side where he is valued as one of the best players, instead of being used intermittently. That stop-start rhythm of play is likely to be one of the main reasons for his constant battle with injury. Moving abroad to the likes of AC Milan, who were interested in Wilshere before he joined Bournemouth, could rejuvenate his career with one of football’s biggest clubs. Would they still be interested after his latest setback though?
In other Arsenal news, Everton are reportedly keen to hijack an offer made by the Gunners for this defender.