Jack Wilshere has claimed Arsene Wenger was sacked by Arsenal this summer.
The former Gunners midfielder’s words come almost four months after the Frenchman announced he would be ‘stepping down’ as manager, ending his 22-year tenure in north London.
Wilshere, who also left the Emirates at the end of last season, made the claim as he spoke about his exit.
The 26-year-old, now with West Ham, revealed how he there was a new deal for him on the table, ready to be signed, but that “everything changed” when Wenger was “got sacked”.
In the previous two seasons, there had been much speculation over Wilshere future, after a number of injuries, a loan spell at Bournemouth and with his contract expiring.
But speaking to BBC TV show Football Focus, he said: “I was in the last year of my contract, and I spoke with the manager at the time, Arsene Wenger, and he said that they won’t be offering me a new deal and that I could leave.
“But at the time I was injured and it was difficult, because I wasn’t fit and I wasn’t playing, and not many teams wanted me injured.
“So I decided to stay and I got back into the team and they finally offered me a deal in January which was ready to sign, and then Arsene got sacked.
“It was strange, everyone was just shocked and Per Mertesacker, the captain, said a few words, and I think everyone was just in shock.
“It was strange. No-one really saw it coming, but it changed everything, and I wanted to wait to speak to the new manager. And I did, and he was brilliant, he was honest with me.
“He said you can stay, but you won’t be in my starting XI, so I thought it was the right time to finally leave.”
Wilshere, who spent 17 years at Arsenal, is due to make his West Ham debut against Liverpool on Sunday.