Arsenal are finally expected to open contract talks with Jack Wilshere in the coming week in a bid to tie down the midfielder to a new long-term deal.

The 26-year-old, who has been with the Gunners since he was nine years old, has entered the final six months of his contract with the club and will be able to leave on a free transfer in the summer. Moreover, he can open talks with clubs outside England and agree a pre-contract with a view to a move at the end of the season.

Wilshere, however, is keen to remain with his boyhood club and has continually insisted that he wants to sign a new contract with Arsenal. Arsene Wenger initially suggested that talks over a new deal will be held in December, but it was pushed to January owing to the hectic schedule of fixtures during the festive period at the end of last year.

The French coach had made it clear that a new contract will depend on Wilshere's ability to show that he can remain fit and compete for a place in the starting XI. The England international initially struggled to break into the Premier League XI and had to be content with regular roles in the Europa League and Carabao Cup squad, but an injury to Aaron Ramsey saw Wilshere drafted into the league team.

The Englishman has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and put in some impressive performances to convince the manager that he deserves a new deal. Wenger confirmed that talks are taking place with Wilshere, but they are yet to reach a conclusion with the manager stating that the financial side will be key to an agreement.

According to the Mirror, Arsenal are finally set to make a formal offer, but the midfielder is expected to receive an offer with a minor pay cut. The report claims that the player will have to accept an offer below his current 120,000-a-week including bonuses offer owing to his history with injuries.

The Gunners are said to be planning a lower basic wage but are adding a number of incentives connected to his success and playing time with the club. Wilshere has the possibility of earning more than he is at the moment if he plays regularly in the upcoming seasons.

Wilshere is keen to remain at the club, while Wenger also wants the midfielder to commit his future to Arsenal after seeing him get back to his best in recent weeks.

Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere has entered the final six months of his contract with Arsenal Getty