After 6 months of negotiations, it seems there has finally been a break through on Jack Wilshere’s contract.
Having nearly left the club last summer, Wilshere forced his way back into the Arsenal first team this year. Maintaining fitness, with mixed form, Arsenal were encouraged to offer him a new deal.
Early reports were that Arsenal wanted to pay him a lower basic, with high incentives (ie appearance fees). The net result would be Wilshere earns more than he does currently if he plays, but Arsenal will pay him less than they do now if he does not.
It showed a lesson learnt from the Abou Diaby time at the club, who maintained a high salary regardless of whether he played or not.
From Wilshere’s side, this was not acceptable. He felt he was worth more than Arsenal were offering, and the club reached a stalemate.
Over recent weeks, there have been some wrangling’s, with Arsenal reportedly offering more on his basic wage, but lower incentives. The net result if Wilshere played was the same, but the Englishman would also receive slightly more than the original deal if he failed to play.
Recently married, and his 3rd child on the way, a move abroad was going to be unlikely. Even a move away from London would now be a struggle for him.
My bet is at some point in the last 6 months, his agent has also quietly canvassed other Premier League sides to see what they were offering.
I imagine those clubs above Arsenal failed to give Wilshere the news he wanted.
They were either unwilling to give him (or his people) the huge contract he desired, or the first team football he craved.
The reality is, he would not be a guaranteed starter at any club above Arsenal (nor I suspect will he be at Arsenal next year) so those clubs would have been uncomfortable paying him a huge salary.
Note: I know Wilshere (and his people) were not “allowed” to speak to other English clubs until his contract runs out, but you are naive if you think his agents did not have unofficial discussions in a service station somewhere.
The reality dawned for Wilshere, he would have to look below Arsenal to get guaranteed playing time. Everton, Leicester, Newcastle, West Ham, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace. But none of these clubs would be able to match the contract Arsenal had on the table, let alone beat it.
The result is, Wilshere has come closer to Arsenal than Arsenal came to Wilshere, and this was shown in Arsene Wenger’s comments yesterday.
A new 3 year deal on a lower salary but with incentives based on playing time has been provisionally agreed. It is likely to have other incentives, such as salary increase based on game time, and an option for a further year.
All in all, a good deal all round.