Jack Wilshere 'no closer' to new Arsenal deal

Jack Wilshere's Arsenal future remains in doubt after manager Arsene Wenger insisted "nothing has changed" in the negotiations over a new deal for the midfielder.

The England international is out of contract at the end of the season and can walk away for nothing if no fresh terms are agreed.

Wilshere has re-established himself in the Arsenal first team this season after years of injury torment and a campaign spent out on loan at Bournemouth.

But, despite becoming an integral part of Wenger's side in recent months, the 26-year-old has yet to agree a new contract, with reports suggesting the offer on the table is for a lower basic salary than his current deal.

Due to his history of injuries, it is claimed any new deal will be heavily incentivised based on appearances and, after Wenger said contract talks would open last December, Wilshere said after the 2-0 Europa League win at AC Milan that the situation was at an impasse.

Asked if he had anything to say on his contract wrangle after Wenger claimed the ball was in the player's court, Wilshere replied: "Not really, no.

"Things have changed since then. All I can tell you is that we are no closer to sorting anything out."

Wenger offered a different take on the issue when speaking ahead of Thursday's last-16 second-leg meeting with Milan.

"On my side, nothing has changed," he said. "I don't know, but Jack will be free at the end of the season.

"We make a proposal to him, I want him to stay and my desire is to see him linked to the club for the future. I hope he will do it."

While Wilshere's Arsenal future is still up in the air, he is likely to be given a fresh chance to bolster his World Cup prospects.

Gareth Southgate announces his England squad on Thursday ahead of a friendly double-header against Holland and Italy.

The Three Lions boss has spoken in the past about Wilshere having to be playing regular Premier League football to stand a chance of making his World Cup squad.

Now the player has earned his place back, Wenger believes he should be given an England recall, with his last cap coming in the shock defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016.

Asked if he thought Wilshere had been enough to be included, Wenger replied: "Yes and I wish he is in the England squad.

"The vibes I get are positive. I believe he has a good chance to be in there, but we have to leave that to Gareth Southgate. I have enough to do with my job."

- PA


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