Arsenal boss confirms holding midfielder deal close

Arsene Wenger has claimed that Francis Coquelin’s new Arsenal contract is “99% there”.

The French midfielder has been a revelation since his return to the Emirates Stadium from a loan spell at Charlton in December, with his introduction to the Gunners’ first XI having coincided with a major upturn in results – including the much-praised win at Manchester City.

However, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, the 23-year-old’s long-term future has been a little unclear of late.

But, Wenger has revealed that an agreement with Coquelin is close:

“Coquelin is 99% there,” he is quoted by The Express.

Coquelin was drafted back from The Valley amid a mini injury crisis at Arsenal, with central midfielders such as Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta having both picked up knocks.

Although a first-team role was not expected given the youngster’s struggles in recent seasons, he has impressed in the red and white shirt, and Wenger revealed after the City win that he has been impressed with the player’s development:

“I saw that he made huge improvements in training so I sent him on loan (to Charlton) for match practice.” He said.

“He took that challenge and he’s done very well.”


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