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Jack Wilshere has been asked to take a 25% pay cut at Arsenal because the club are fearful of spending a second season in a row without Champions League football.
The Gunners finished fifth last term and are almost certain to finish outside the top four again this season.
Winning the Europa League is Arsenal’s only realistic chance of regaining their position among Europe’s elite next term but the club are counting the cost of bringing in an influx of stars on top wages.
Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have all joined the club in the last year and the quartet have swollen Arsenal’s wage bill.
The Arsenal board are concerned with escalating costs and they’re playing hard ball with Wilshere over a new deal by asking him to take a 25% pay cut, according to the Sun.
The England midfielder rejected the club’s first offer and says a second has not been made.
Wilshere is keen on staying at Arsenal but the club will not cave into his demands and Everton are offering him a lucrative signing-on fee to leave the Emirates.
One year without Champions League football has cost Arsenal around £29m and a second will be disastrous for a club that spent 19 straight seasons at Europe’s top table.
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