Arsenal not prepared to break the bank to keep Wilshere on new contract

Arsenal fear Jack Wilshere will reject their offer of a new contract and leave on a free transfer in the summer. Arsène Wenger has previously suggested the club have made him a take-it-or-leave-it offer and, at the moment, it looks as though the midfielder will do the latter. Everton, West Ham and Juventus have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old.

Arsenal have proposed a heavily incentivised deal because they are mindful of Wilshere’s terrible fitness record. He pulled out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad during the recent international break with a knee problem but the player has trained and is in contention to face Stoke at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

“That’s the nature of Jack, I’m afraid,” Steve Bould, the assistant manager, said. “He can pick up an injury because his ankle will turn. He’s got a sore knee. I think perhaps he will always have a little niggle here and there because of the way he is structured. But he’s a great player. A fit Jack Wilshere is a very good player.”

Bould was asked whether he hoped Wilshere and the club could work out their differences over the new deal and reach an agreement. “Of course,” he said. “I’ve known Jack since he was a real young kid. He loves the football club and we just need him fit more often than he has been in the past. It is something he might have to manage all his career.”

The Wilshere contract saga has rumbled on since September, after he chose to stay put at Arsenal and fight for his place. Wenger had told Wilshere that the club would not offer him a new deal and, if he could get something elsewhere, he could take it and go.

Wilshere did not find anything and, as he was not fully fit at the time, decided to put his head down, concentrate on his conditioning and hope to impress in the Carabao Cup and Europa League – which he did. He worked his way back into Wenger’s first-choice team in December and there have been games in which he has shown his best form.

Wilshere has managed to change Wenger’s mind about him to the extent that he does now have the offer of a contract, albeit on reduced basic terms of £80,000 a week, which he finds unacceptable. But the question has nagged away as to how much Arsenal truly want him to stay at the club.

They have shown the ability to break the bank for players they consider essential – for example, Mesut Özil agreed a new deal worth £350,000-a-week in February when it looked as though he was planning to make a summer departure as a free agent. A similar offer was also made to Alexis Sánchez, although in the end it was not enough to keep him from departing the club for Manchester United.

Wilshere has said on several occasions that his preference is to stay at the club he joined at the age of nine. Something significant must give for that to happen, however.

Source :- The Guardian

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