Arsenal set to begin talks over new contracts for Olivier Giroud and Mikel Arteta as Theo Walcott nears comeback from injury

After a busy summer, Arsenal are turning their attentions to their current players

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The Independent Football

After their £83m summer spending spree, Arsenal are turning their attentions closer to home with the news that the club are ready to enter talks with both captain Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud over extending their contracts.

The Gunners made inroads into the transfer market with moves for Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy, while they also added goalkeeper David Ospina who is currently sidelined through injury.

With calls for a striker to be added before the transfer deadline growing by the minute, Arsenal finally bowed to pressure and secured a late deal for England striker Danny Welbeck, with the 23-year-old leaving Manchester United for £16m.

Giroud is currently ruled out of action for the rest of the year after suffering a broken tibia in the recent 2-2 draw with Everton, and he will be fearing for his place in the first-team following the arrival of Welbeck.

 

However, talk of a new contract will help to lift his spirits, and with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2015-16 season, it appears Arsene Wenger is keen to tie down his long-term future with reports suggesting an extension until 2018 could be in the offing.

Arteta was only appointed captain in the summer following Thomas Vermaelen’s departure to Barcelona, although the Spanish midfielder had worn the armband for the bulk of last season after Vermaelen struggled to get into the first team.

His current contract expires at the end of the season, but the Gunners are hopeful that he will agree a one-year extension to keep him at the club until the end of next season. It appeared at one point during the summer that Arteta’s place in the squad was in jeopardy with the North London club linked heavily with a move for Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira, and Italian side Fiorentina were interested in the Spaniard should he become available.

But Arteta spoke out to commit his future to the Gunners, and with a move for Khedira failing to materialise it appears the club will reward Arteta for his loyalty.

In terms of injury news, the absence of Giroud could be eased by the news that Theo Walcott is targeting a return to action against arch-rivals Tottenham at the end of this month. The irony is that Walcott ruptured his cruciate ligament against the same opposition back in January that forced him to miss the World Cup, a game in which he angered the Spurs fans after taunting them with the scoreline as he was carried off on a stretcher.

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Walcott gesturing at the Tottenham fans during Arsenal's 2-0 FA Cup in January

It’s fair to say that any return on the 27 September is unlikely to receive a warm reception from the Spurs faithful.

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