The 26-year-old’s deal will expire at the end of the campaign, meaning rumours have gathered pace that Wilshere may walk away from his boyhood club. However, the England international has said he’s never considered leaving the Gunners, despite the contract impasse, per Sky Sports News (h/t Max Winters of the MailOnline)
“We are still in the same position really. Not much has changed. We are still talking.
“Obviously the boss has left which has changed things a little bit because I don’t know who is going to be the manager next year and that can change things. But we are still talking, and I am hopeful and the club is hopeful we can get something done.
“To be honest with you, I haven’t really thought about [moving somewhere else]. I have said before that [this] is where I want to be, and I have not really had much time to think about moving clubs.”
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, the delay over Wilshere signing a new contract has been due to Arsenal offering him a deal with reduced wages.
The Gunners offered Wilshere terms worth £90,000 a week, which is £20,000 a week fewer than his current wages. However, Cross has reported that Arsenal have recently improved their offer, with a weekly salary in excess of £100,000 on the table for the player.
While he’s had his injury issues down the years, there’s no doubt Wilshere is a class act when he’s at his best. World Soccer Talk’s Kartik Krishnaiyer believes the Gunners should be doing what they can to keep him around:
Kartik Krishnaiyer @kkfla737
A *fit* Jack Wilshere is still better and more seasoned than 95% of central midfielders that Arsenal can *realistically* sign. Note the emphasis on realistically.
But reports of an improved offer and the above quotes from the man himself will fuel optimism that an agreement can be reached. Wilshere, after all, remains one of the most popular members of the Arsenal squad and potentially a key player for any new coach that arrives in north London.
Wilshere understands the club, is passionate in his play and also has the poise to dictate matches from midfield. Per James Benge of the Evening Standard, it appears he’s still invested in the future of the football club:
James Benge @jamesbenge
Jack Wilshere at Emirates to cheer on Arsenal U18s as they look to overturn 3-1 first leg deficit in Youth Cup Final. Last man standing from 2009 winners. https://t.co/9dZrHce3VC
Having been at Arsenal his entire career, there is an argument for Wilshere going elsewhere for a fresh challenge. A new environment may serve as further motivation going into what should be the peak years of his career.
But he’s an Arsenal supporter, and despite the tribulations of the last few seasons, he will still have hopes of achieving his full potential at the Emirates Stadium. As such, it would be a surprise if all parties didn’t reach an agreement in the weeks to come.