Mikel Arteta has revealed that he is closing in on a first team return after missing a major part of the campaign through injury.

The Spaniard played his last competitive game in November and has since not been part of the first team squad all season, which has led to questions over his long term future at the club.

His contract is up at the end of the season but the midfielder insists that it will take only five minutes to sort everything out with the club in the summer.

Arteta has been an integral part of the squad since moving from Everton in 2011 and has curbed his attacking instincts to play a more defensive role for the Gunners.

However, with him missing, Francis Coquelin has stepped up to the plate and has done an amazing job in the centre of midfield for Arsenal, so much so that the pressing need of signing a new defensive midfielder in the summer has alleviated.

Arteta revealed that he has had a few sessions with the first team but though he is not fit to start as yet, he is feeling better and should be able to help Arsenal secure the coveted second spot, with six games remaining in the season.

"I am not far. I have done five or six sessions with the first team and I am feeling good. I don't feel I am ready to start, but I'm almost there. It has been a long process, I don't want to rush it," Arteta said.

"My only aim is to get back fit and try to perform on the pitch.

"As long as I do that I am sure that I will continue with this club, with the relationship I have with the club and the respect I have from everybody here.

"If I don't do that then I am not going to be here because I don't want to be somewhere where I cannot perform at my best and give what I think I can give.

"In May, when everything is fine, we will sit down and talk and it will take five minutes," he concluded.