The gossip around Jack Wilshere’s contract seems to have gone quiet.
Gone are the rumours that we had offered him a deal, gone are the rumours that he was not happy with the deal. It is just silence. A stone wall of silence. And it is odd.
The only thing heard recently is that Everton were willing to hand the Englishman an £8-million signing to join the club in the summer.
Obviously Everton could not yet have offered him this deal, as rules dictate that you can only negotiate with foreign clubs in the last 6 months of your contract. You have to wait until your contract runs out before being able to openly negotiate with domestic clubs (I think).
But realistically, there is no smoke without fire.
This story has probably been planted by Everton to see if there is any interest. To see if the phone rings. To see if one of Wilshere’s gets in touch and says it is a deal of interest, lets talk over an ice cream.
If that is on the table from Everton, it would not be surprised if Wilshere becomes interested. £8m is a lot of money, even for a footballer (2 years wages @ £77k a week).
Ignoring that story, everything at Arsenal and Wislhere seem to be at an impasse.
Arsenal have reportedly told Wilshere he must take a pay-cut on his £110,000-a-week wages if he wants to stay at the Emirates.
But his contract will also give him a chance to increase his pay with bonus payments and appearance money.
This to me seems reasonable. If you do not play, you earn less, if you play, you earn more. With his injury background, it is probably the right decision. The sensible decision.
Football, contracts and sensible do not go together. Whilst football is a short career, it is a well paid career. Gone are the days when a player would play for 20 years and have to be a cabby, or go into construction, or appear on daytime TV property shows. Most top level players now retire and never have to work again.
Saying that, football is about money, about greed. Why would Wilshere accept our offer of lower wages, if he can get the same – or higher – wages elsewhere. Players are no longer loyal.
Whilst what Wilshere wants from Arsenal has never been made clear, speculation is that he wants at least the same, perhaps even more.
And this is the impasse. Arsenal have offered him a sensible contract based on his history (36 Premier League games for Arsenal in 4 seasons), whilst Wilshere wants what he could be offered elsewhere.
Wilshere has managed to stay injury free for the majority of the season. He has played 30 games this season – only Granit Xhaka has played more in the middle of the park. And whilst he has shown some of the best form, that form has also been patchy.
With Aaron Ramsey having just 18 months left of his contract, and Granit Xhaka having struggled to settle in England, Arsenal could be facing a midfield crisis come the summer.