Jack Wilshere is racing against time to win a place on Arsenal ’s pre-season tour.
But the clock is ticking for the 25-year-old England international to be ready for the trip to Australia and China, with the players due to report back for training on Monday before the first match Down Under on July 13.
That would be another blow with Wilshere’s long term future already in doubt with only a year left on his contract on top of a string of recent injury blows.
Wilshere was sent out on a year’s loan to Bournemouth, which he hoped would be a springboard to get his career back on track, and did well on the South Coast before suffering the season-ending injury at, of all places, Tottenham’s White Hart Lane.
Arsenal are likely to offer him a new contract to protect their asset, but it would seem unlikely he could get a big permanent move this summer.
The Gunners are already facing the issue of having to cost Champions League bonuses into contract negotiations for a raft of players. They could see a 20 per cent drop in earnings after missing out on the top four last season, which could complicate things for players who have one year left.
Arsenal are still trying to negotiate a new deal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain . The England midfielder is a target for Liverpool, with Chelsea and Manchester City also watching developments.
Meanwhile, the Gunners appear to be closing in on one of their primary targets as they grow increasingly confident of landing Monaco’s Thomas Lemar .
Boss Arsene Wenger rates midfielder Lemar highly but the issue may be how many players Monaco allow to leave in one window, with Europe’s biggest clubs circling striker Kylian Mbappe, Manchester City having already signed playmaker Bernardo Silva, and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko looking set for Chelsea.
Left-back Benjamin Mendy and midfielder Fabinho are also on transfer radars across the continent.
Wenger has also targeted Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, while Arsenal will fight to fend off Barcelona’s attempts to re-sign full-back Hector Bellerin.