Arsenal are ready to hand Abou Diaby another chance to make it at Emirates Stadium following his injury nightmare and are considering handing him a pay-as-you-play contract next season.
Diaby's current contract with the Gunners expires come the summer, but Arsene Wenger is not yet willing to give up on a player who has spent most of the past nine years recovering from constant injuries.
Now the Daily Telegraph claim that the Arsenal manager is not only willing to allow the French midfielder to continue training with the club, but will also give him the opportunity to earn a contract that rewards him for each time he plays for the first team.
Article continues below
Diaby is currently coming back from another long-term injury, but has been impressing for the club's Under-21 side over the past few weeks and Wenger is not yet ready to give up on a player his signed as a teenager from Auxerre 11 years ago.
The report claims a final decision will be made at the end of the season, but that Wenger's faith means Diaby will get the chance to try regain some semblance of fitness at London Colney and the club are open to revisiting the idea of a new deal if the 28-year-old can get back to his best.
Article continues below
A new permanent deal is not on the table, however, which was never going to be likely for a player who has made only 16 Premier League appearances in the past four seasons, but this approach would be a perfect example of Wenger's faith in him.
In 2006 a tackle from young Sunderland defender Dan Smith fractured Diaby's ankle in the dying minutes of a game that the Gunners had already won and Wenger has since maintained that all of the midfielder's subsequent injury problems.
That Diaby was even given his last contract was something extraordinary, as only really two out of his ten seasons in north London has the rangy midfielder played what can be considered regularly. Since his arrival at Arsenal he has averaged just over 12 league appearances a season.
Wenger's Secret? Loyalty
Wenger's faith, it seems, is unwavering and give us some insight as to why he is so popular with his players. It is rare for a former charge of the Frenchman to say anything bad about him after leaving the club, with most showing fierce loyalty towards him.
Such faith as is being shown in Diaby is precisely the kind of thing that gets Wenger the reputation he has. Aaron Ramsey was going through a hell of poor form when returning from a serious leg-break, yet Wenger kept playing him and was rewarded with a magnificent run of form.
Though it is unlikely, do not be hugely surprised if Diaby eventually gets over the litany of injuries he has carried and turns out making a contribution to the Arsenal team at some point in the next year.