If this weekend's reports are anything to go by, it would appear Arsenal could be in danger of losing another star to Manchester City this summer.
In a bid to strengthen their quota of home-grown players, Manchester City are preparing a colossal transfer bid to lure the Arsenal youth product Jack Wilshere away from the Emirates Stadium, the Sunday Times has reported.
If the midfielder does put pen to paper and sign for the Citizens this summer, he will follow the likes of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Adebayor who have all made high-profile and unpopular to the Etihad Stadium since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in 2009.
The addition of Wilshere to the City squad would certainly add poise and quality to an under-performing midfield but it is the club's need to comply with homegrown players quota for their Premier League and Champions League participation which has supposedly encouraged the hierarchy to seriously consider a bid for the 23-year-old.
With James Milner likely to leave in the summer when his contract expires, Joe Hart would be the only senior homegrown player on the books of the champions and the arrival of Wilshere would enable City to fulfil quotas demanded by the FA and UEFA.
However, his substantial cost and tendency to spend most of the season on the sidelines rather than on the field would perhaps prove key in any decision making.
But with Wilshere's time at Arsenal having been blighted by a string of injury woes and Arsene Wenger having trouble accommodating all of his midfielders at once, the switch to City does not appear as ludicrous as some may believe.
Would Wenger be willing to sell?
Whether the Gunners manager would be willing to let Wilshere go is another question, and his team's fine form during the player's most recent absence would suggest that he is not as vital to the Arsenal midfield as many would imagine.
In fact in the 16 games Wilshere has played for Arsenal in the current season, they've won six, drawn five and lost five.
This is not to say that Wilshere is the only reason for these five defeats, but fact that the Gunners seem to be performing better with Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil in the midfield. It could be enough to convince Wenger that Wilshere is now surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium.
However, Arsenal have invested a huge amount of time and energy to the development of Wilshere who Wenger sees as a potential future captain. Needless to say, Wilshere still retains Wenger's trust and the Gunners boss made a bold gesture by handing the youngster the emblematic No. 10 shirt and persisting with the playmaker seemingly through thick and thin.
All of this only serves to demonstrate that with that degree of conviction about a player’s potential, the Frenchman is not likely to sell his young midfielder at the first given opportunity.
Whether Wenger would be open to selling Wilshere remains open to debate at this stage of the season, but the player's commitment to the Gunners has never really been called into question.
The Englishman is a product of the club's academy and joined the north London club in 2001. Although a transfer to City would offer the playmaker increased wages and a new chapter, his commitment to Arsenal and affection for the club cannot be questioned.
Although he has been hit by a string of reoccurring ankle injuries in recent years, Wilshere remains a player of great (but largely unfulfilled) potential and will be eager to remain at the Emirates Stadium a little while longer in order to prove his worth and talent.
Arsenal fans: what do you think the future holds for Jack Wilshere?
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