Arsenal intend to turn down any offers from Manchester City for Jack Wilshere following his strong finish to the season but talks over a new contract will wait until into next season.
Wilshere still has three years remaining on his current deal but, amid interest from City, has talked over recent weeks of wanting “to be wanted” by Arsenal.
The 23-year-old was only a substitute during the FA Cup final and had struggled to break back into the first-team, even after returning from the ankle injury that derailed his season.
Arsene Wenger, though, was impressed by Wilshere’s form when he did play, especially in the final England matches of the season that included his two goals against Slovenia.
Wenger is adamant that the club must only strengthen this summer and that none of his key young players will be sold. Chelsea were interested in including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as part of the deal for Petr Cech but this suggestion was immediately rejected by Arsenal, who also soon hope to reach agreement with Theo Walcott over extending a contract that expires next summer.
The length of Wilshere’s current deal means that talks over his future will take place in the next year but not this summer. Wilshere clearly now needs a period of regular uninterrupted football and will also know that he will face fierce competition for his place.
Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla ended last season as Wenger’s preferred central midfield pair, with Mesut Ozil playing behind the main striker, leaving Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey competing to play on the right.
Wilshere has shown for England that he can effective in a more defensive midfield role but Wenger believes that he is at his best when breaking forward. Wenger is still deciding whether to another holding midfielder this summer, having made an inquiry for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin. City’s interest in Wilshere, as well as Raheem Sterling, stems partly from their need to increase the number of home-grown players in their squad.
“I definitely wouldn’t go somewhere just because I’m a homegrown player,” said Wilshere. “I’d want to be wanted by a club. I want to be wanted by Arsenal. I’ve grown up at Arsenal, I’m a homegrown player and, as long as Arsenal want me, then I’m happy.”
Wilshere signed a new deal until 2018 at the same time as Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs all signed new contracts.
"I believe when you have a core of British players, it's always easier to keep them together,” Wenger said.
No doubt John Terry was being sincere when expressing his concerns about the much-trailed sale of Petr Cech from Chelsea to Arsenal this week, though whether his value to his new employers really can be weighed in something as tangible as the number of points he is likely to bring in his dowry will remain an issue of animated conjecture.
Roman Abramovich is not known as a man who lets sentiment get in the way of business, few billionaires are. But the Chelsea owner has undoubtedly listened to his heart and not his head in overruling Jose Mourinho regarding Petr Cech.