Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has agreed to sign a one-year contract extension with the Gunners that will keep him tied to the Emirates Stadium until the summer of 2016.
This is according to Goal, who understand that the Spaniard will put pen to paper on the new deal in the near future.
The report adds that the 32-year-old, who earns £60,000-a-week, will be entitled to a further one-year extension at the end of the 2015-16 campaign if he makes a certain number of first-team appearances over the course of that season.
Arteta: Key player and captain
Arteta joined Arsenal in 2011 in a deal worth a reported £10 million from Everton and has been a key player for the Gunners over the past three years.
The former Spain Under-21 international, who has never made a senior appearance for his national team, was appointed club captain by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen in the summer.
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Not every Arsenal fan will be pleased
But news that Wenger plans to keep Arteta at the club for at least the next 18 months is unlikely to sit well with every Arsenal fan, some of whom believe the Spaniard’s best years are now firmly behind him.
The Gunners, who have won just four of their opening 11 Premier League fixtures, appear to be crying out for a first-class holding midfielder - and have been linked with the likes of Sami Khedira and William Carvalho.
But news of Arteta’s new deal indicates that Wenger, a manager whose position is under increasing pressure, still regards him as a key player in his team and has no plans to offload him either in January or next summer.
Arteta: Panic buy?
Arteta arrived at the Emirates Stadium days after Arsenal had been thrashed 8-2 by Manchester United at Old Trafford in what is arguably the worst moment of Wenger’s long tenure with the Gunners so far.
The Spanish midfielder - who arrived at the same time as Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Yossi Benayoun - was initially regarded by some as a panic buy by Wenger. Three years down the line, however, and few would argue that it was a smart acquisition on Wenger’s behalf.
But is the veteran French coach wrong to hand the ageing Arteta a contract extension? There will be plenty of Arsenal fans who will suggest that he is making a big mistake, but what do you think? Leave a comment in the box below to air your views.
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