Arsenal plan to reject any summer bids from either Manchester or Liverpool for Jack Wilshere, a midfielder who Gunners boss Arsene Wenger still feels is integral to his plans moving forward.
Wilshere is thought to be on a longlist of summer transfer targets for City, who want to recruit young, English talent in a bid to drive down the average age of their squad and meet homegrown player quotas at the same time.
The Gunners are adamant Wilshere is going nowhere though, with The Telegraph reporting that the 23-year-old could even be in line for a new contract worth £150,000-a-week as a show of faith in his ability to finally fulfill his immense potential at the Emirates.
Talks over new deal have been planned
City's interest in Wilshere may lead to Arsenal bringing forward plans to hold contract talks with their often-injured playmaker, but Gunners chiefs have been considering negotiations over fresh terms for some time.
There's no rush to extend Wilshere's current deal, which expires in 2018, but Arsenal are already looking into the possibility of adding a further two years to that agreement. The message is clear from North London, Wilshere's persistent injury problems and questionable off-field antics have not stopped Wenger from believing he has one of Europe's most talented midfielders on his books.
Comeback is close
Wilshere has now been on the sidelines for over four months nursing serious ankle ligament damage, suffered as a result of a challenge by Manchester United defender Paddy McNair.
The Three Lions star is within touching distance of a first-team return though, after completing 90 minutes for Arsenal's under-21 side in a 4-1 win over Stoke City at the Emirates last night.
Arsenal have thrived in his absence and Wilshere certainly has a major fight on his hands to get back in the starting XI, but Wenger is prepared to be patient with his much-criticised midfielder at what has all the makings of a vital stage of his career over the next 12 months.
Arsenal fans, do you think Wilshere deserves a new contract full stop, let alone one worth £150,000-a-week? Let us know your opinion in the comment box below!
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