According to Dominic Fifield of the Guardian, Arsenal has extended a contract offer to Jack Wilshere worth around £80,000 a week plus “significant incentives.” Although Wilshere prefers to stay with Arsenal amid interest from Everton, West Ham, and Juventus, Fifield reports, “he will not do so on those terms, leaving discussions at an impasse.”
The fact that there is an offer on the table represents a shift in strategy for the club relative to the beginning of the season, as Wilshere revealed that Arsene Wenger told him he was free to find a new club back in August:
“It was an honest conversation,” Wilshere recalls. “It had been boiling up for a while. Everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and had been out on loan, got injured and wasn’t really in his plans. He just said: ‘At the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract so, if you can get one somewhere else, you can go.”
As we all know, Wilshere did look, but couldn’t find an acceptable solution so late in the transfer window and decided to build up his fitness and fight for a spot at Arsenal. For the most part, it’s worked out for Wilshere this season. He got opportunities in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, as Wenger reportedly promised him in August, and has made 31 appearances this season in all competitions, his most since 2013-2014. Although he rightly isn’t a regular starter when everyone in midfield is healthy, he’s been rewarded with a call-up to the England squad, his first since the Euros two summers ago.
That being said, it’s hard to argue with Arsenal’s stance in contract negotiations considering Wilshere’s injury history. Any deal has to be incentive-laden, as this offer appears to be, which will force Wilshere to make a bigger bet on himself than he probably wants to as a result. With time running out, this is a situation to monitor closely, which, given how often Wilshere has discussed the negotiations publicly, should be pretty easy to do.