Manchester City will only make a move for Jack Wilshere if and when they miss out on Juventus star Paul Pogba, according to The Sun.
The Arsenal star has been tentatively linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium in recent weeks with Manuel Pellegrini desperate to boost the number of homegrown players in his squad.
However, it has now emerged via the above report that Wilshere is simply seen as an alternative option to Pogba, who Manchester City see as their marquee signing for the summer.
He would cost over £70m to lure for Turin but even agreeing to pay that astronomical fee would not be enough to guarantee his signature. That is because Real Madrid and Barcelona are expected to match the offer as well, leaving the Citizens as nothing but dark horses in this transfer race.
That is why Wilshere has been added to Pellegrini's shortlist and sits alongside Liverpool star Raheem Sterling, who himself has been the subject of several offers from City already.
The transfer fee
Wilshere, 23, would come significantly cheaper than Pogba but Arsenal would certainly demand an excessive figure in the region of £40m.
That would give City £30m to spend on other targets, such as Wolfsburg's Kevin de Bruyne, and would also give them one of the many homegrown players they need to fulfill their quota for both their Premier League and Champions League squads.
But despite several controversial incidents involving cigarettes and the incessant ankle injuries, Arsene Wenger still has tremendous faith in Wilshere and would be ever so reluctant to sell him to a rival.
They are likely to sell for less than £40m and would probably demand close to £50m before they even start considering a sale. Even then, City will have to convince Wilshere to leave a club he has been with since he was an eight-year-old.
Pellegrini may be able to convince him with the promise of first-team football, but having seen the careers of so many England stars–Joleon Lescott, Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell–stall at the Etihad, Wilshere is unlikely to be tempted by something so evidently hollow.
Arsenal are preparing to ward off any interest from City by offering Wilshere a double-your-money deal worth £100,000-a-week. It will place Wilshere in an elite band of stars to be earning six-figures, joining the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
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