EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Manchester United are targeting a summer move for Jack Wilshere, Football Insider sources understand.
United are closely monitoring the midfielder’s contract situation at the Gunners and he is deemed to be a realistic target.
As revealed by Football Insider, Wilshere has opened talks with Arsenal about extending his contract, which has three years to run.
United are interested in Wilshere as they assess options to reinvigorate their central midfield, with manager Louis van Gaal keen to sign a top-quality midfielder this summer.
The England international has come to United’s attention because he is still only 23, has his best years ahead of him and there is a feeling that he might need a fresh challenge and a move away from the London bubble.
One concern might be his injury record, although Arsenal do not want to cash in on the Academy graduate.
Football Insider revealed in April that Arsene Wenger retains full faith in the Gunners talisman despite the series of serious injuries that have stalled his progress since his breakthrough 2010-11 campaign.
Wilshere made just 23 Arsenal appearances last season and was sidelined by the latest in a series of ankle injuries for nearly six months.
The 23-year-old will be seeking a deal that lifts his current £90,000-a-week package in line with fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who signed a £110,000-a-week contract 15 months ago.
Ramsey was given a big pay rise on the back of an outstanding season and even though his original deal, which was announced in December 2012 at the same time as those of of Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberalin, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson, already had four years left.