Wenger: Silvestre may move on

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted there is a good chance defender Mikael Silvestre will leave the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season.

The ex-Manchester United centre-back has struggled to break into the Gunners' first-team this term and has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League.

Silvestre is due to hold discussions about his future in early 2010 and Wenger concedes the Frenchman may decide to leave when his contract expires in the summer.

“I have a meeting with Silvestre in March. We have a common agreement to meet then and see where we go from there,” Wenger said.

The 32-year-old has fallen down the pecking order following the summer arrival of Thomas Vermaelen.

The Belgium international has impressed since his move from Ajax and has even chipped in with five goals to aid the Londoners’ title challenge.

Wenger admits Silvestre is unlikely to be content with a place on the bench but hopes he can convince the stopper to stay as his experience is invaluable in a youthful Gunners squad.

“It’s linked with the number of games he gets before then. He is a remarkable influence in the squad, but he must be happy,” Wenger added.

“Thomas Vermaelen is in front of him. Will he be happy if he does not get the games? I am not sure.”

William Gallas is another important piece of the Arsenal rearguard whose contract expires at the end of the current season.

Wenger, however, is more optimistic Silvestre’s compatriot will pen a new deal at the Emirates Stadium in the near future having figured in all of the Gunners’ league encounters so far in 2009/10.

“The talks with Gallas have to be a bit earlier because he plays regularly,” he said.

“We need some experience in the dressing room.”