Wenger anticipates Wilshere decision before end of season

Wenger anticipates Wilshere decision before end of season

Arsenal midfielder is out of contract in summer and is yet to respond to the Gunners' latest offer

David Comerford

Arsene Wenger expects a resolution to the Jack Wilshere contract saga at the end of the season to ensure his future is settled before a potential England World Cup call-up.

After spending last season on loan at Bournemouth, Wilshere, who has suffered frequent injury setbacks in recent years, has returned to the first-team fold at the Emirates and showed signs of rediscovering best form.

The 26-year-old's future, however, is in doubt as he continues to stall in contract negotiations with the club. 

Wenger confident

Wenger could not provide an update on Wilshere's future in his press conference ahead of Sunday's game against West Ham, but reaffirmed his confidence that the midfielder will stay put.

"I can’t give you any news because I don’t know really what is in his mind," Wenger admitted.

"I can just update you on saying that he has not signed. He has an offer for a long-term contract and we want him to stay. I hope at some stage he will sign it.

"I am always confident. As a club you want the players to stay and be paid well and I think everyone would agree we pay our players very well."

The Frenchman insisted there was no immediate need for Wilshere to make a decision but thinks an agreement could be reached within a month.

"He knows I want him to stay," he said. "He is focused on winning the next game all the time and will make his decision a bit later.

"I think he will make a decision before the end of the season. He will not want to go to the World Cup and have not settled his situation." 

Arsenal's focus is inevitably on their Europa League campaign as they look to secure a return to the Champions League next season.

Favourites Atletico Madrid stand in their way in the semi-finals, but Wenger is confident his side will come out on top if they play to potential.

"We have a big opponent in Atletico Madrid and it’s absolutely vital we beat them, progress to the final and have a chance to win the competition," Wenger said.

"But it is a big obstacle in the semi-final, a big hurdle. Atletico Madrid are seen as the favourites to win the competition but I believe that, at our best, we can beat them."