Arsenal's inability to qualify for the Champions League for the second successive season has wreaked havoc on contract negotiations, as Jack Wilshere has reportedly been asked to take a 25% pay cut, according to reports.
The Gunners are said to be fearful of overspending without the safety net that European football offers as a finish outside the top four this season is looking increasingly likely - as they are currently 13 points adrift - ensuring their hopes of returning to Europe's top table rest on their ability to win the Europa League.
According to the Metro, Arsenal are concerned over the club's escalating costs after signing Alexandre Lacazatte, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Granit Xhaka on bumper new deals.
As one year without Champions League football came at a cost of £29m, a second in quick succession would prove disastrous after 19 straight seasons in the competition.
We'll happily throw wages at deadbeats like Santos, Gervinho and Sanogo, but when it comes to offering Jack Wilshere a new deal we don't stump up what he's worth.— James (@JECook96) March 22, 2018
With fear of rising costs looming large, Wilshere - whose contract expires at the end of the season - has been offered a deal with a 25% pay cut which he has duly rejected.
A second offer has yet to be tabled despite the 26-year-old said to be eager to remain at the Emirates as the Gunners are not willing to submit to the England international's demands.
Should no agreement be made, Wilshere will be free to leave the club on a Bosman with Everton said to be willing to offer a lucrative signing-on fee to ensure his exit from the north London club.
Despite having returned to his best physical form since season 2013/14 - after making 31 appearances to date - Wilshere once again succumbed to injury on international duty to cast doubt on his future for both club and country.