Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is determined to fight for his future at the club despite speculation intensifying over a summer move away from Emirates Stadium, report the Evening Standard.
Juventus were the first team to sound out Wilshere about a possible transfer but were told at the time by the player’s representatives that he wished to remain in north London for another year at the very least.
Wilshere is an Arsenal fan and has been at the club since he was just nine years old. It would take a significant deterioration in his bond with manager Arsene Wenger to seriously consider leaving but their relationship has been strained in recent times after three separate incidents in which the 23-year-old is alleged to have been caught smoking.
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
Wenger and Wilshere held frank talks before the start of the season with the latter vowing to knuckle down and prove his worth but with injury problems blighting those attempts after an encouraging start, Manchester City and Liverpool are monitoring his situation with a view to a summer transfer bid.
Wilshere has not played a first team game since November after suffering ankle ligament damage following a tackle by Paddy McNair in Manchester United’s 2-1 win.
Wenger has always insisted that Wilshere will have no long term fitness problems despite a lengthy history of ankle issues. But a minor operation at the end of February to remove the studs at either end of a pin inserted in his left ankle was supposed to sideline him for a “few days” has extended to six weeks, causing him to miss a key part of Arsenal’s run-in including their Champions League exit to Monaco.
The club are keen not to rush Wilshere back having restricted him to just two reserve team appearances - the latest of which came against Stoke on Tuesday - after a series of setbacks.
Arsenal have won 17 of their last 20 matches in all competitions without Wilshere but it would still take a sizeable offer - in excess of £30million - for Wenger to even consider the sale of a player he has invested years of training and education in.
Manchester City are under pressure to increase the number of English players in their squad and believe they may be able to exploit any strain in the relationship between Wenger and Wilshere.
Liverpool were also impressed by Wilshere’s versatility in midfield, notably when anchoring England’s midfield in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland back in September - a role not dissimilar to the one departing captain Steven Gerrard has often played at Anfield.
With Gerrard moving to the United States at the end of the season, Wilshere is viewed by some on Merseyside as a possible replacement, although their chances of completing a deal would be severely hampered were they to fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Juventus have asked to be kept informed of any change in Wilshere’s availability but it is believed that Wilshere is happy at Arsenal and would prefer to stay and force his way back into the first team picture unless told otherwise by the club.