Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has moved to end speculation surrounding the future of reported Aston Villa target Jack Wilshere by confirming that the injury-prone midfielder is part of his plans for the new season.
Wilshere seems to be far down the pecking order at The Emirates Stadium and is on the road to recovery once again after suffering a broken leg while on loan at Bournemouth last season. The England international played for Arsenal's Under-23 squad as they emerged victorious over Derby County on Monday (14 August), and Wenger was happy to see the Gunners academy product close in on full fitness.
Championship outfit Aston Villa are believed to be plotting an ambitious loan swoop for Wilshere, who has made 159 appearances for Arsenal since making his debut in 2010, but Wenger revealed that he is currently planning to have the 25-year-old in his squad for the new campaign.
Like many of his Arsenal teammates, Wilshere has just one year left on his contract in north London. Fresh terms do not seem to be on the horizon for the former Bolton Wanderers loanee, but Wenger believes Wilshere should only be focusing on his fitness for the time being.
"Well for him [Wilshere], it's good that he's back and available," Wenger said in his press conference. "He needs games now, he might play again on Monday night, but what is important for him is to be completely fit.
"At the moment yes, I'm planning for him to be here for the whole season and we'll see at the end of the season."
Wenger is keen to keep Wilshere beyond this summer but reiterated his stance over the future of Lucas Perez, who is desperate for pastures new after growing frustrated with his lack of game-time in north London.
Newcastle United have been credited with an interest in the Arsenal outcast, who will be allowed to leave if a club meets the Gunners' €15m valuation. Perez's former club Deportivo La Coruna are believed to have submitted a €12m bid for the 28-year-old, and Wenger stressed that he will help the versatile forward find a "good opportunity".
"There's a possibility [that Perez will leave], I opened the door for him because we have many strikers. If he finds a good opportunity I will help him," Wenger said.
Perez may not be the only Arsenal player to leave before the end of the transfer window. Wenger is looking to trim the fat from his squad, which is overloaded in some areas, and believes he will be very active during what's left of the transfer market as he shapes his side into his desired image: "Getting players out keeps you as busy as getting players in, I think I will be busy yes."