Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has reportedly signed a one-year extension to his deal at the Emirates, according to reports in the Daily Mirror.
The 32 year old’s contract was due to expire at the end of the current season, but the new agreement will keep him at the club until 2016.
The report states that the Spaniard has signed a new one-year contract extension to stay at Arsenal until 2016 and the Gunners will announce the deal during the international break which starts next Monday.
It further states that the North London club’s next target will be Theo Walcott, who is set to return to full training next week after being out since January with a major knee injury. The Englishman’s contract expires in 2016 but the Gunners are confident he will also commit himself to a new deal.
Arsenal have tied a number of first-team players down to new deals in recent months and Olivier Giroud has also recently agreed to an extension. The extension is another boost to Wenger, who is attempting to keep his current crop of players together as Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky have all extended their deals in the last few months.
The midfielder joined Arsenal from Everton in 2011 for £10 million and has proven to be a valuable addition to the Gunners’ side. He has successfully adapted to a defensive midfield position and his fine form was rewarded in the summer as he replaced Thomas Vermaelen as the club’s captain.
He has already attracted criticism for his sluggish start to the new campaign and although he was never blessed with great pace, time is catching up with him and his lack of speed is being exposed more and more frequently.
However he is a player Arsene Wenger believes in and that makes him crucial to this season. The Gunners can still go onto sign a top defensive midfielder in January or next summer and Arteta can still fit around as an experienced option on the bench.
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