Arsene Wenger has backed Jack Wilshere to end his contract stand-off with Arsenal and remain on the club's books past the end of the season.
The midfielder is embroiled in a bitter dispute with the Gunners over a new deal and, if a breakthrough isn't reached by 1st July, Wilshere can leave north London for nothing.
In a beIN Sports interview, Wenger was quizzed on matters concerning the 26-year-old and the Frenchman insisted that his 'weight' was behind Wilshere as he explained why he expected the playmaker to remain at the Emirates.
He said: “I can only reassure him that I want him to stay and we make him a proposal and after that we also have to accept that Jack is at an age where he will have offers from somewhere else. Personally, I have put my weight in for him to stay, I want him to stay and I think he’s an Arsenal man.”
Arsenal want Wilshere to cut his wages by £20,000 to around £90,000-a-week after his nightmare period with injuries over the past few years.
Arsenal are on the verge of letting Jack Wilshere leave on a free transfer.— Gooner Adam (@AdzCampbell91) March 26, 2018
Meanwhile they have tied down Mohamed Elneny to a long term contract...
"Wenger knows" 🤔
However, the England international has been left frustrated by the club's fresh terms and could very well decide to head for pastures new in just three months' time.
Everton are reportedly favourites to land Wilshere after drawing up a lucrative contract for the Arsenal academy graduate, while the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus and AC Milan are all monitoring developments with intrigue too.
Wilshere was giving a glowing report by Rossoneri boss Gennaro Gattuso after the two sides faced off in the Europa League, and Wenger agreed with his counterpart that Wilshere could go from strength to strength after putting the vast majority of his injury troubles behind him.
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Wenger added: “Gattuso said that he’s got the technique of a Spanish player and the character of an English player and I think that;’s well judged and that’s why you want him to stay.
“As well Jack has gone through situations where he’s been gone through long term injuries and you hope in the next three or four years he will be injury free and you’ll see the real Jack Wilshere.
“He went to the European Championship and, basically, he didn’t play. He came on a few times but Jack Wilshere in full power, full fitness is a regular player in the England national team.”