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Jack Wilshere Says He's 'No Closer' to Arsenal Extension, Contract Talks Stalled

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2018

Arsenal's midfielder Jack Wilshere of England gestures during the UEFA Europa League round 16 first-leg football match AC Milan Vs Arsenal at the 'San Siro Stadium' in Milan on March 8, 2018. Arsenal won 0-2. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has given an update on his contract situation and revealed he's "no closer" to agreeing new terms at the Emirates Stadium, with talks reportedly at a standstill. 

MailOnline's Sami Mokbel reported the Gunners remain confident of agreeing a new deal with Wilshere despite offering him a wage cut, although the midfielder seemed less than upbeat regarding his future.

Wilshere was asked if he had an update on negotiations after Thursday's 2-0 UEFA Europa League win at AC Milan and responded: "Not really, no."

An interviewer then referred to manager Arsene Wenger's comments that the ball was in Wilshere's court, to which he replied: "Things have changed since then. We're no closer to sorting anything out."

Football writer James McNicholas commented on the current landscape and other factors surrounding Wilshere's future:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

When Jack says "things have changed since then" re. his previous contract offer - does he mean re. Arsene's future, or is it the fact we subsequently consented to say Ozil £350k? He won't accept a pay cut when we're giving out those wages to others. https://t.co/FiUWRPVsZd

It's reported Arsenal have offered the 26-year-old a 20 per cent pay cut to around £80,000 per week, with Wilshere earning around £100,000 per week in north London on his current deal.

The Gunners ended a four-match losing streak with their first-leg triumph over Milan in the Europa League round of 16, and BT Sport pundit Martin Keown lauded Wilshere's influence in particular:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"Gareth Southgate will be watching with interest." 👀 Jack Wilshere's performance tonight was just 👌 https://t.co/sCfwixwhuB

The playmaker has endured consistent injury problems during his 10-year senior career at the Emirates and represents a risk due to his absences, although he appears settled now after making 31 appearances in all competitions.

That being said, Opta statistician Orbinho recently provided evidence to suggest the club are better off without the player:

Orbinho @Orbinho

Arsenal's win percentage with Jack Wilshere in the starting line up this season is 43% while without him it's 54%

Wilshere has always been viewed as a capable midfield technician when fully fit, possessing a touch and passing range that aligns with Wenger's vision, not to mention the fact he grew up at the club.

Some might argue it's character and not talent that's lacking in the Arsenal squad, and Wilshere asked for the fans to stick with the team after the recent 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion:

Jack Wilshere @JackWilshere

I'm sorry to the gooners out there. You deserve better. Thats all i have to say. I know its difficult at the moment in this difficult period we are going through as a team but we need you. We will do better but please stick with us ❤ https://t.co/UTsCdXkQmB

Wilshere will become a free agent in the summer unless he signs a new contract in north London, and it's Wenger who has stuck with him through his recurring injury troubles.

A change in management may prove to be the deciding point in whether Wilshere stays or goes, but a lack of progress in talks suggests he's not among the club's biggest priorities for the time being.

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