Arsene Wenger says he’d like Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta to stay on at the Emirates but revealed a new deal is yet to be agreed.
The 32-year-old, who has been sidelined since November with an ankle injury, is already allowed to talk to foreign suitors with his current deal expiring in the summer.
Asked if there had been any movement on his future, Wenger told his pre-West Ham press conference: “No, not yet. Normally yes, I would like him to stay on. He has a huge experience and is very important to the squad. Yes.
Asked specifically if the length of the contract remains a sticking point, Wenger nodded, “Yes.”
Arteta returned to full training today and is expected to be available for selection in three weeks. Hardly the most fashionable player in the squad, it’s hard to deny he’s been a steadying influence on the squad since his deadline day move from Everton in August 2011.
Talking to Arseblog News before the start of the current campaign about his future, Arteta said:
“I had my conversation with the manager, he knows my opinion and I know his opinion and we’re all good. That’s all I can say.
“I can’t stop the rumours, but you can be sure that I’m really happy here. I feel valued, I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and I like it. Until the club thinks something different about me, I’m happy here.”
In total he’s made 136 appearances in the last four seasons, scoring 16 goals.