Jack Wilshere facing the axe under Arsene Wenger

England midfielder Jack Wilshere will enter the final year of his contract  with Arsenal next month.
England midfielder Jack Wilshere will enter the final year of his contract with Arsenal next month.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jack Wilshere fears that he will be one of the victims of Arsene Wenger's continued stay at Arsenal after the manager signed a two-year contract with a pledge to trim the squad.

The England midfielder spent the past season on loan at Bournemouth after a series of injuries had limited his chances with Arsenal, and is again on the sidelines after suffering a hairline fracture of his left fibula against Tottenham Hotspur in April.

Wilshere will enter the final year of his contract next month and while Arsenal had planned to have talks to extend his deal, there has been no agreement and the 25-year-old is worried that he could be sold.

Arsenal have 33 senior players and could sell nine of them this summer to cut costs.

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"First of all, we have a very heavy squad at the moment so maybe we might lose some players," said Wenger, whose stay was confirmed on Tuesday.

"Our squad is very strong and we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now. We need the additions who will make a real difference."

West Ham United have shown an interest in Wilshere but are concerned by his injury record.

If the midfielder cannot be sold, then Arsenal may be forced to extend his deal to protect his value as he is among a dozen players with one year left on their contracts.

Of those, Kieran Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny and Carl Jenkinson could all be sold, while Lucas Perez, David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo and Francis Coquelin all have longer deals but could still depart.

Stan Kroenke, the Arsenal majority shareholder, said that Wenger was the "best person" to help the club win trophies.

Alisher Usmanov, the second-highest shareholder, said he was ready to step in to help Wenger if Kroenke fails to deliver.

"What is of paramount importance is that he receives the full support of the board and majority shareholder," Usmanov said.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Wilshere facing the axe under Wenger'. Print Edition | Subscribe