It has seemed inevitable for years now but Arsenal fans will still be shocked to see reports that Jack Wilshere has been told he can leave the club on loan.
A host of newspapers, including the Mirror, appear to have been told that the 24-year-old midfielder has been offered around the Premier League in the hope of sealing a temporary deal before Wednesday's deadline.
It comes in response to a meeting Wilshere had with Arsene Wenger following their 3-1 win over Watford on Saturday. He was, once again, amongst the substitutes with Santi Cazorla and Granit Xhaka preferred in midfield.
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Wilshere came on for the last 20 minutes but his failure to start a Premier League game so far this season has seen him fall out of the England squad. Naturally, there is concern from his camp that his career will continue to stall if first-team opportunities continue to allude him.
With Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny all vying for midfield berths as well, Wenger has taken the decision to let Wilshere leave north London, albeit temporarily.
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The right move
There is still some doubt as to whether a move can be done in the next 48 hours but talks are progressing between the club, the player and his representatives to try and find a solution. Wilshere has two years left on his contract and there is a chance he will have to sign an extension before being allowed to leave.
It is also believed Arsenal won't let him leave for a potential top four club. That rules out as many as seven of their rivals although Leicester City may be offered the opportunity. Any team that wants him will have to offer guarantees over first-team involvement.
Why is he moving?
Once one of England's finest young players, Wilshere has managed just 4,325 minutes over the last five seasons, failing to make a single appearance in the 2011/12 campaign and just three in 2015/16.
Wenger added Elneny in January and Xhaka in the summer and the latter's partnership with Cazorla looks to be the manager's first choice while Ramsey, who is currently injured, is very much ahead of Wilshere in the pecking order as well.
But having come through the youth system, he remains hugely popular with Arsenal's fanbase and it will come with grave disappointment to see him leave the club on loan.
However, there is no suggestion of a permanent deal and any club hoping to sign him for the season will not be offered a chance to keep him for a set fee. It appears this move is purely to help kick-start his career and Wenger has every intention of welcoming him back into the senior squad next season.
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