Contract warning for Pires
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal Wenger has warned Robert Pires he will not be offered a long-term deal.Arsenal Wenger has warned Robert Pires he will not be offered a long-term deal to extend his stay at Arsenal.
Pires has just one more season left on his current deal and has made it clear he wants to pen a new one.
The former Marseille star is believed to be looking for an extended contract to see him end his playing days at Highbury, but Wenger insists he will only be offered a year-to-year deal - as has been the case with Dennis Bergkamp.
"Robert has a year to go because we took up the one-year option on his original contract, so he has no option on his current contract," Wenger stated.
"He has the extra year already which finishes in 2006.
"Then, if he wants to talk about an extension, why not?
"But he will be 33 by the end of next year, and then we will go from year to year."
News that Pires will not be handed an extended deal has prompted talk he could be ready to quit The Gunners with Primera outfit Valencia understood to be monitoring his situation.
However, the wideman - who scored his side's winner at Middlesbrough on Saturday - has played down talk of moving on.
"Rumours about me leaving are not serious but they are hard to answer because I still haven't had a meeting with the directors," he said.
"I hope to do so before the end of the season - to see where I fit in their plans, where the club is going and to prepare for next season.
"I wouldn't mind ending my career at Arsenal. We'll see what comes from the discussions."
One player who will be offered a new long-term deal at Highbury is midfielder Gilberto Silva.
The Brazilian has seen his season disrupted by a serious back complaint but, having battled back to full fitness, Wenger is ready to reward the 28-year-old with fresh terms.
"Gilberto's injury is behind him now and we will try to extend his contract at the end of the season," Wenger continued.
"There's still one year to go on his present deal so there's no great need to do it quickly.
"He's the kind of player you need in every team, like Roy Keane for Manchester United."