Arsenal could be set to show the exit door to three of their English internationals — Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to a London Evening Standard exclusive, Arsenal could be set to part ways with the English trio of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. All three are yet to begin negotiations over contract extensions, with their current deals set to run out in the near future.
Arsene Wenger has prioritised contract negotiations with current players over the signing of new players. The club have already handed extensions to the French trio of Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin, while Per Mertesacker is also reportedly on the verge of signing a one-year extension on his current deal.
The two contract rebels Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are also in constant negotiations with the club, as Arsenal look to tie down two important members of the first-team setup to long-term deals. But the situation surrounding Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be a more complex affair.
Kieran Gibbs was once named one of the best English left-backs by Arsene Wenger, but has failed to impress and stamp his authority at the Emirates. The fact that a 30-year-old Nacho Monreal has been keeping Gibbs out of the first eleven doesn’t bode well for the Englishman.
Gibbs has played only 5 Premier League matches this season, and with his contract set to expire in 2018, he is the most likely of the three to be on his way out of the Emirates.
Moving on to Jack Wilshere. The once prodigious midfielder has struggled with fitness for most of his short career, which has seen him being loaned out to AFC Bournemouth. The Englishman has proven his fitness under Eddie Howe though, playing 18 games and looking more like his usual self.
The 25-year-old’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season. Arsene Wenger has previously expressed his desire to see the midfielder back in an Arsenal shirt, but the future does look iffy.
Wilshere will return to the Emirates at the end of the season to find himself in the same position he was in when he left, fighting for a place in the starting eleven. The explosive midfielder has shown that he is up to the task, and could be ready to leave once again in search of regular playing time.
The situation is somewhat similar to that of Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain, an undeniable talent who was snapped up by Arsenal after fighting off competition from Manchester United.
The Ox has since been unable to establish himself as an important figure in the first-team setup at Arsenal. The 23-year-old has shown some consistency this season though, which has been rewarded by Wenger, with the attacker given more game time.
His return of two goals and four assists in 18 Premier League appearances shows that he could finally be set to live up to some of the expectations and hype surrounding his career at least, but it could be away from Arsenal.
The Ox has previously sounded out the possibility of leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. The Englishman’s contract is up for expiry in 2018 and there are likely to be many suitors for the former Southampton player.
The Gunners could yet move to secure the future of the trio at Emirates, but as of now, no talks have been initiated between the club and the players.