Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given the biggest indication yet that Tomas Rosicky will stay at the Emirates after his current contract expires at the end of the season, insisting that he plans to keep the Czech veteran for next year at least.
Rosicky has been in sparkling form so far this term at the Emirates, finally steering clear of injury for a sustained spell to add experience and surprising steel to Arsenal's title challenge.
The 33-year-old's chances of earning a one-year extension are thought to hinge on his ability to make 25 appearances in all competitions, but at the halfway point in the campaign a haul of 20 games has been enough to convince Wenger that the versatile midfielder deserves fresh terms.
He told reporters at a pre-match press conference this morning: "He will stay here. He's a marvellous player, a typical Arsenal player."
The Gunners have largely maintained a strict policy of offering players over 30 one-year contracts through the majority of Wenger's tenure, with Rosicky waiting to hold formal talks over a new deal alongside Bacary Sagna and Nicklas Bendtner.
Rosicky is a firm favourite with Arsenal fans and has been at the Emirates for more than seven years, shrugging off persistent injury problems to make just over 200 appearances for the Gunners.
That reputation was enhanced with a superb all-round display against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup last weekend, capped by scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win with a cheeky chip from close range.