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Arsene Wenger 'confident' Jack Wilshere will sign new long-term Arsenal deal

LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects Jack Wilshere to make a decision on his future before the end of the season and is still hopeful that Santi Cazorla can return from his long-term injury problems.

Wilshere has so far balked at signing a new deal despite having an offer on the table for weeks, but Wenger said he remains confident that an agreement will be reached.

The midfielder's contract expires this summer, but Wenger expects the issue to be settled before the start of the World Cup.

"I cannot give you any news [on Wilshere] because I don't really know what is in his mind. I can just update you by saying that until now he has not signed," Wenger said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"He has an offer and we want him to stay. He has an offer that is on a long-term contract basically, and I hope that at some stage he will sign it."

Arsenal's offer would reportedly require Wilshere to accept a lower basic wage in a deal that is heavy on incentives based on appearances -- a reflection of the midfielder's many injury problems in the past.

But Wenger said the club won't pressure him into making a decision quickly.

"He has the freedom to make that decision, he knows I want him to stay and overall I hope that at some stage [he will sign]," Wenger said. "I think he will make his decision before the end of the season. He will not want to go to the World Cup and not have settled his situation because that would not be reasonable as well I think."

Jack Wilshere has made 36 appearances for Arsenal this season, his most for the club since the 2010-11 season.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger doesn't expect Jack Wilshere to go to the World Cup with his future unsettled.

Asked if he was still confident Wilshere will stay, Wenger said: "You can reproach me maybe, but I'm always confident. I am, I am, really."

Cazorla's contract also expires this summer, with the Spaniard having been sidelined by a complicated Achilles injury for nearly 18 months. The midfielder has had a number of setbacks in his recovery process but Wenger said the latest indications are that he's "doing very well."

Wenger said he will sit down with Cazorla after the season to see where he's at before making any decision about a new deal.

"I have not seen him since the League Cup final because he has gone back to make his rehab," Wenger said. "We leave him there. But the last news I heard is that he is doing very well, so I hope that certainly he will come back before the end of the season and we can make a check-up of where he stands.

"Can he play again in the Premier League? I don't know. I have to see how he responds to his injury. We miss him a lot. I never spoke about it in the press conferences, or not many times, as he was not the subject of the day, but we have missed him a lot in our game. He is an exceptional football player and it is very sad what happened to him -- and very sad for Arsenal as well."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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