West Ham are confident of landing Arsenal playmaker Jack Wilshere, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the 26-year-old midfielder, who will be a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June, met up with new Arsenal boss Unai Emery for talks last Monday.
However, the upshot is that, while Emery wants him to stay, he’s not willing to improve a £100k-a-week offer, which would equate to a 20% pay cut.
By contrast, Pellegrini is willing to pay him £130k-a-week to spearhead his new-look West Ham side.
Emery wants to meet with Wilshere again but the player dropped a cryptic hint on Instagram that he might be about to call time on his Arsenal career, saying: “There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.”
There is competition for his signature, with Juventus, Wolves, Everton and Newcastle interested, but it is said that Wilshere would prefer to stay in London.
Football Insider verdict:
Emery might say he wants Wilshere to stay, but offering him a pay cut doesn’t really match that in reality. Arsenal have got a lot of money and they obviously only value Wilshere as a squad player who might come good again. Emery wants to meet with him again, but unless he makes a substantially improved offer, we can see Wilshere calling time on the team he grew up with as a youth player. Things have gone wrong for Wilshere with injury but at 26-years-old he’s still got plenty of his career left in front of him if he can stay fit. And he’s such a talent that when a manager like Pellegrini says he wants to build a team around him, it’s time to take the hint. Exciting things are afoot at the London Stadium. Pellegrini has already signed Ryan Fredericks from Fulham and is being linked with a whole host of young, attacking players. Wilshere could be the experienced head that glues them all together and he’ll have a chance to prove to Emery and Arsenal that they were wrong to let him go this summer.
In other West Ham transfer news, they are lining up a move for a Manchester United defender.