Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is considering leaving north London in order to boost his hopes of winning a place in the England squad at next summer's World Cup. Having not represented his country since the 2016 European Championships, the 25-year-old is ready to take the desperate measure of leaving the Gunners to breathe new life into his bid to play at Russia 2018.
The Times understands that Wilshere is concerned he will not get the opportunities he needs to force his way into manager Gareth Southgate's thinking. The ex-Bournemouth and Bolton Wanderers loanee insists he is fully fit, but must improve on the three appearances he has made this season to stand any chance of an international recall.
Wilshere's contract at Arsenal expires at the end of the season and Arsene Wenger says he has until December to convince the club he is worthy of an extension beyond the summer of 2018. After missing the start of the campaign due to a broken leg that curtailed his 2016-17 season, Wilshere made a cameo appearance in the Europa League against FC Cologne before starting the wins over Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup and BATE Borisov.
Having spent last term with Eddie Howe's Bournemouth, a host of clubs were linked with a permanent move for Wilshere in the summer including Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Turkish club Trabzonspor. The Cherries passed up the chance to recruit Wilshere on a long-term deal.
Southgate could have as many as seven matches between now and the World Cup to whittle down his final 23 ,though Wilshere is unlikely to force his way back into the reckoning if he is not playing regularly. However, given the lack of options available to the England boss he may be forced to give Wilshere an opportunity.
One player set to remain with Arsenal beyond the end of the current season is Mesut Ozil, who is ready to stage a dramatic U-turn in talks over a new contract. The Germany international has been unable to find a club willing to match his £330,000-a-week wage demands and could now stay at The Emirates Stadium.
The Sun understand Ozil's team are ready to approach the record 13-time FA Cup winners and attempt to renegotiate the £250,000-a-week deal which the player rejected in the summer. Turkish club Besiktas have submitted their interest but have no plans to pay the £17.1m-a-year Ozil wants. Inter Milan are also interested but are similarly put off by the numbers involved, giving Arsenal a chance of potentially retaining the playmaker.