Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been training with Mikel Arteta’s squad for a number of months as he looks to get himself back in the game following his release from Bournemouth
Jack Wilshere is said to be attracting interest from both England and abroad as the former Arsenal midfielder grows increasingly hopeful of finding a new club.
The 30-year-old has been without a club since leaving Bournemouth at the end of last season and has hinted that retirement could be an option.
His former Gunners teammate and now Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, welcomed Wilshere back to London Colney last year, in order to regain his fitness and begin preparations for his coaching badges.
Wilshere has worked with a number of the club’s promising youngsters, with Bradley Ibrahim labelling him the “best player in training”.
Those impressive reviews from the training pitches had led to some speculation that Arteta could grant him an emotional return to his boyhood club.
But despite the need for a new central midfielder, Arteta has ruled out a move for Wilshere, a player he still believes is at Premier League level.
“His talent is unquestionable, I think you’ve heard some players say he’s the best in training,” he said last month. “It’s up to him the next step in his career and we’re here to support that,” the manager continued.
When asked about Wilshere’s ability to play in the Premier League, Arteta said “100%, and if he has doubts I can tell him that.”
However, when pushed on whether the academy graduate might return to Arsenal as a player, he said: “That’s a different story.”
Wilshere’s stint with the Gunners is set to come to an end at the start of February, at which time he will be expected to have signed with a new club.
According to Football.London a number of teams have expressed their interest in acquiring the former England international, including Italian side Monza, Greek outfit AEK Athens and a handful of clubs from the Championship.
However, regardless of potential transfer interest, Wilshere is set to fly out with the Arsenal squad for their warm weather training camp in Dubai on Thursday.
Wilshere has been included in a group that goes without former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Should a deal materialise whilst he is in the UAE, Wilshere is happy to make the trip, such is his willingness to get back in the game.
In a candid interview with BBC Sport last year, he admitted that he “had to think about” retirement if opportunities didn’t come his way.
“That is why I am doing the coaching. I have been forced into doing it a little bit but I am grateful for the opportunity.
“I 100 per cent think I can still play,” he added. “I don’t care what people say or write or what they say on social media.
“I am an honest guy. If I didn’t think I could, I would be the first to say: ‘Enough, I am going to do something else’.
“But I am almost at the point where I think something different, abroad, might be beneficial to me.”