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Wenger ready to extend Vermaelen contract

The former Ajax defender has found first-team opportunities hard to come by this campaign, starting just three league games due to the good form of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Gunners' back-line.

Wenger, however, would like to keep the 28-year-old Belgium international at the club, but only if he is happy to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

“We want Thomas Vermaelen to be happy and have the number of games a player of his class deserves," he told the club’s official website.

“On my side, I have high respect for his qualities and attitude and I am ready to extend his contract. At the moment we’re all on board for something this season that is respectable. At the end of the season I can sit down with Thomas and see what he thinks about it.”