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Midfielder Jack Wilshire has confirmed he will be leaving Arsenal this summer when his contract expires.
He had been offered a new deal at the Emirates but has declined to take it up after having had discussions with new boss Unai Emery, who said Wilshire would only be a bit part player next season.
This brings to an end Wilshire’s 17-year association with the Gunners.
“I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I have done due to purely footballing reasons,” he said.
But there are no shortage of clubs queuing up to sign 26-year-old Wilshire. Top of the list are West Ham United; new manager Manuel Pellegrini wants him as he rebuilds the squad – plus it would mean he would stay in London.
Another London club, Crystal Palace, are interested. Manager Roy Hodgson worked with the player when he was with England, so he knows him well.
Outside of London, Everton are rumoured to be interested and Wilshire would fit into new manager Marco Silva’s style of play. He would also be cheap, as the transfer budget there isn’t massive.
More outside bets for a move are newly-promoted but ambitious Wolverhampton Wanderers – who could afford his high wages without a problem – and Southampton.
There also rumoured to be interested from Italy. AC Milan has been mentioned, as have Sampdoria. It is thought Wilshire may be open to a move abroad – and the Italian style of play may suit him.
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Unai Emery is wasting no time in overhauling his Arsenal squad, as he looks to set to bring in Bayer Leverkusen’s German international goalkeeper Bernd Leno in a £22 million deal.
Leno had been expected to sign for Napoli – Leverkusen admitted he had an agreement with the Serie A side – but it seems that Arsenal have stolen in ahead to sign him, according to German newspaper SportBild.
Arsenal are now hammering out the personal terms of the deal with the 26-year-old, and it is hoped the deal will be concluded before the weekend.
Should Leno join, he will compete with 36-year-old Petr Cech for the number one spot, and it is thought that current back-up stopper David Ospina will be sold.
Leno is highly-rated in Germany – despite missing out on the country’s 23 for the World Cup – and has made 304 appearances in all competitions for Leverkusen, and kept more than 100 clean sheets.
More transfers are expected at Arsenal in the coming weeks as Emery seeks to build the squad in his own image. Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira is also close to joining the club, according to reports.