Sampdoria could offer injury-plagued midfielder Jack Wilshere a surprise escape route out of Arsenal, with reports suggesting that the Serie A outfit are interested in pursuing a summer deal.
That is according to Sky Italy, who further suggest that the Gunners are only seeking a fee of approximately £9m ($11.6m) for a player who has now entered the final year of his contract. Sampdoria finished 10th in Serie A in Marco Giampaolo's first season at the helm and have already signed Gianluca Caprari, Nicola Murru and Dawid Kownacki over recent weeks in addition to selling Milan Skriniar, Luis Muriel and Bruno Fernandes.
Wilshere's Arsenal future has been subject to doubt for quite some time, with the 25-year-old joining Premier League rivals Bournemouth on a season-long loan deal on deadline day last August after rejecting the chance to move to Crystal Palace.
He made a total of 29 top-flight appearances under Eddie Howe as the Cherries secured their maiden top-half finish, but saw his time on the south coast predictably curtailed by yet more injury woe.
The Arsenal academy graduate limped out of a heavy 4-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in April after suffering another fractured fibula and was subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Howe was quick to concede that it would be "very difficult" for Bournemouth to secure the permanent return of the 34-cap England international.
Whether Wilshere would be open to a move to Italy remains to be seen at this stage. AS Roma and AC Milan were also said to be interested in his signature in the summer of 2016, but Arsenal were reportedly not willing to do business with the former having been upset with the way they handled negotiations regarding a potential deal for Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas.
West Ham United have also been linked frequently with the player over recent months after reports that they were willing to spend up to £30m on his signature. Manager Slaven Bilic described him as a "great player with great ability" and it was generally thought that they remained the firm favourites to entice him away from Arsenal.
When asked about that speculation in an interview with Talksport earlier this month, Hammers co-chairman David Gold claimed the club would always be interested in players of high quality but reiterated a desperate need for them to prioritise the addition of two new strikers amid supposed interest in the likes of Javier Hernandez, Olivier Giroud and Kelechi Iheanacho.