Aston Villa are lining up a surprise move for out-of-favour Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, but face a struggle to pursuade the midfielder to drop down in the Championship.
According to the Mirror, Villa manager Steve Bruce is determined to convince the 25-year-old to swap the Emirates for Villa Park and is believed to have already made contact with the Gunners.
Earlier this summer, Bruce secured the signing of former Chelsea captain John Terry but he's keen to add more talent to his side, as he looks to brings Villa back in the Premier League for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
The five-time champions of England are among the main favourites for promotion but their league campaign has got off to a stuttering start, with Villa picking one point from their opening two games.
Villa's poor start has led Bruce to look for reinforcements. However, the former Manchester United captain knows that a big contract and added bonuses might not be enough to lure Wilshere to the Championship, while Arsenal could push for a permanent move rather than a loan deal.
The England international has been in rehabilitation since the end of last season, when he suffered a broken leg that brought his loan spell at Bournemouth to a premature end, and he returned to action with Arsenal's Under-23 side on Monday (14 August).
Wilshere played 73 minutes as Arsenal came from behind to win 3-2 against Derby County but has been told b he would be allowed to leave for the right offer, even though in April Arsene Wenger said the England star would be offered a new deal.
However, the midfielder, who has only 12 months left on his contract, could still opt to remain in north London and fight for a spot in the starting eleven.
Wenger has repeatedly stated that he will use the early stages of the Europa League to give youngsters and squad players a chance to shine, which could allow Wilshere to push himself back into the frame. Two players have however already given up on winning a place back in the team following loan spells, with Wojciech Szczesny and Yaya Sanogo moving to Juventus and Toulouse respectively, on permanent deals.
The Stevenage-born midfielder has also attracted interest from Newcastle United, Swansea, West Ham United, Turkish club Antalyaspor and Serie A outfit Sampdoria but Arsenal are yet to receive an offer that matches their demands, largely as most enquiries have been about a loan deal.
Wilshere made 27 league appearances – including 22 starts – for the Cherries last term, more than in the previous two seasons combined, before being hampered by a series of injuries.