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Jack Wilshere admits he would like his Arsenal future to be sorted before the World Cup and revealed Arsene Wenger told him he could leave at the start of the season.
The England midfielder found himself at a crossroads in his career last summer, having returned from Bournemouth after a promising loan spell that ended with yet another injury.
Struggling for fitness and time on the pitch, Wilshere has not played for his country since the Euro 2016 last-16 exit to Iceland, although Gareth Southgate has named him in his squad for the upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy.
His future at the Emirates remains unclear and the midfielder – who has won the FA Cup twice with the Gunners since joining them in 2001 – was told by manager Wenger that he could move on while cycling in the gym.
“It was an honest conversation,” said Wilshere, whose current Arsenal contract expires this summer.
“We have known each other long enough where we can have that relationship where we are honest with each other.
“It was boiling up for a while because everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and I had been out on loan, got injured, and wasn’t really in his plans.
“He said, ‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract, so if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go’.
“Obviously I was not happy with that, but at the same time I was happy he was being honest.
“He gave me the opportunity with three or four weeks left in the transfer window, but I did not find anything that I wanted and at the same time I was not really fit, so I decided that I wanted to stay and build up my fitness.
“He also said at the same time that if I did stay I had an opportunity to fight for my place, and if I performed well in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, I had a chance.”
Wilshere has taken that opportunity to impress Wenger in cup competitions, with talks on a new deal underway, albeit with player and manager offering different interpretations on where they stand with negotiations.
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