Thomas Vermaelen: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims he is 'ready' to offer a new contract to the Gunners captain
But the defender has only started three league matches this season
Thursday 23 January 2014
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that he is "ready" to offer club-captain Thomas Vermaelen a new deal at the end of the season, amid reported interest from West Ham and Napoli.
Vermaelen, whose current deal runs out in the summer, has cut a frustrating figure at the Emirates Stadium due to the flourishing centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and has started only three Premier League matches this season. Wenger, though, does not want to lose the Belgian international from his squad.
"I am open to it," the manager told arsenal.com. "I am ready to extend his contract. We want Thomas Vermaelen to be happy and have the number of games a player of his class deserves.
"On my side, I have a high respect for his qualities and attitude and I am ready to extend his contract."
Wenger added: "At the moment we’re all on board for something this season that is respectable. At the end of the season I can sit down with Thomas and see what he thinks about it."
Fellow Gunners' players Tomas Rosicky, Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna are also out of contract in the summer, and Wenger revealed that he is closer to extending their contracts, but they are not completed yet.
"That [the new contracts] is very, very, very close," he said. "Not for all of them but for most of them."
Gallery: Could Arsenal bring in any of these strikers in the January window?
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
Tim Sherwood column: I've been impressed with my Tottenham successor Mauricio Pochettino
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward