The ever-on-top-of-things Jamie Sanderson is reporting today that Arsenal are set to offer defensive midfielder and sometime trequartista Alex Song a contract extension that would boost his weekly pay to make him one of the team's highest-paid players. The goal here is to avoid a lengthy contractual battle at his contract's end, like the club has experienced with players like Samir Nasri and Mathieu Flamini, among others.
Song's play this year, while at times inconsistent, has for the most part been superb and he has been a massive part of any success Arsenal have had this season, both as a defender and through his suddenly incisive passing and eye for the assist. This is a new contract not just for Alex Song, but also for Songinho, and it, along with other moves made so far this year, may be indicative of a new long-term approach to player signings and contracts from the club, which is something that many fans would likely welcome.
According to Sanderson, the club's initial offer will be around £75,000-a-week, and will end in 2017 (his current deal expires in 2014). That's a substantial raise from his current paycheck of £55,000-a-week, which puts him around the middle of the team, with people like Denilson. Alex Song is better than Denilson. He also reports on a belief in the team that negotiations will likely be swift, as they were with both Johan Djourou and Tomas Rosicky.
Song is only 24, and though he's been playing quite well this year - he, along with Theo Walcott, has 8 assists on the season, one behind Robin van Persie for the team lead; he also leads the team in tackles won and is second in passes completed - could conceivably continue to grow as a player. He's proved himself this year and last, and so there's little worry of a Denilson/Bendtner situation. And this deal, if he signs, would postpone any possible transfer drama into the late part of this decade. All in all, this is the route the club should be taking with its players. Now we just have to wait for him to actually sign the contract.
Also: according to transfermarkt.co.uk, Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, and Wojciech Szczesny will all be out of contract in 2014, just like Alex Song. I would not be at all surprised to hear soon that all three are to be offered similar extensions. Perhaps a new day of not-leaving-things-to-the-last-minute is dawning at Arsenal.