Arsene Wenger has put a tight deadline on contract renewals for Arsenal midfielders Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, insisting that a decision will be made on their respective futures - one way or another - by the end of next month.
The Frenchman also backed Wilshere for an England call-up for the Three Lions' upcoming friendlies, revealing that Gareth Southgate talked to him recently to gauge the 25-year-old's fitness and form.
Quoted by the Mirror ahead of Thursday night's game against Red Star, Wenger spoke briefly on the midfield pair's long-term future at the Emirates, saying: “Ideally you want to keep both of them. I said many times that would be decided in December.”
Wilshere is expected to be overlooked for Southgate's England squad when it is announced on Thursday, but Wenger revealed that the Three Lions boss is still keeping a close eye on the 34-times capped Gunner in the build-up to the World Cup.
“I spoke to him (Southgate) about Jack before the Swansea game," he said. "He just asked me how he is and I said no restrictions. He’s in a very good way. I don’t know if he will be called up. I would encourage him to do it. I am convinced it [being called up] would help him. When you have been so frustrated at so many times, every positive experience is welcome.
"It would be a positive as well because you have the World Cup and you have a new manager who has not called him up yet, so that for certain would play a positive part in his head. I personally think a super-fit Jack I don’t know how you can keep him out of the England squad.”