Arsenal are expecting to sit down with Jack Wilshere’s representatives in the next few weeks in an attempt to extend his contract at the club.
Wilshere is a free agent in the summer, meaning Arsenal know that realistically they have to have made substantive progress in negotiations by next month if there is any chance of the player staying at the club.
With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil also running down their deals and out of contract next summer, Arsenal know that losing Wilshere, who has been at the club since the age of nine, on a free will be perceived as another example of bad planning, even though the player has been beset by injuries in the past three years.
However if his recent run of form continues, Wilshere is likely to be back in Gareth Southgate’s England squad next month and is pushing to make the Arsenal first team against Everton. He will also feature against Norwich in the League Cup next week, which will be a further chance to show both his credentials and his fitness.
Negotiations have been put on hold until Wilshere shows his fitness, yet Arsenal will now have to move to get head of rival clubs who will be lining up offers.
Everton and Roma have pursued Wilshere in the past but it is likely that, if he shows fitness, rivals Chelsea and Manchester City will also show interest in player who would help boost their quota of home-grown players in European matches.
Wilshere has started three games in the last month and will be pushing for a place in the Premier League side, even though he is likely to be on the bench on Sunday.
Wilshere has featured in just 72 games for club and country since 2014 but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is now close to full fitness again.
There will also be a call for him to return to England squad next month for friendlies against Germany and Brazil after England looked devoid of ideas and in need of a creative midfielders in recent World Cup qualifiers.