Merida wants Arsenal contract extension

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The Independent Football

Arsenal youngster Fran Merida wants to stay at the club and secure a new contract but admits he is unsure about his future while his current deal runs down.

The 19-year-old Spaniard has attracted interest from clubs such as Atletico Madrid and is a free agent at the end of the season, with his situation becoming a hot topic after his spectacular opener in the Carling Cup win over Liverpool last night.

Merida said: "At the moment I am talking to the club so I don't know what is going to happen. Hopefully everything is going to be all right but we are going to sit down and talk about it.

"I am really happy here and things are going okay. I am really happy in London too so we will see what happens."

Wenger is confident of securing the future of Merida, who has been billed as the new Cesc Fabregas.

Wenger said: "We are close to signing a new contract."

Wenger will restore his senior players for the Barclays Premier League clash against rivals Tottenham at the weekend, meaning the likes of Merida will have to wait for the Carling Cup quarter-finals for another chance to impress.

Merida feels Wenger's youngsters are good enough to win the trophy.

"There is no-one to fear because we can beat anyone but it is going to be really tough so we will see who we get next," he said.

"The Carling Cup is a cup where the young players get a chance to play and we have to prove as individuals and a team that we can play and against Liverpool we did.

"I gave 100% in every area and this cup is very important for us. We have to show what we can do and also enjoy it because we don't get many games."