Xavi expects Man City interest in Arsenal player next summer


Pep Guardiola's reign at Manchester City got off to the perfect start.

Ten wins from as many matches prompted some supporters to prematurely hand Guardiola's men the Premier League title.

Since then, however, the Spanish boss hasn't had it quite his own way and has found out exactly why the English top flight is considered one of the toughest leagues in Europe to succeed in.

The Citizens experienced a tricky end to 2016 but have started the New Year on a positive note by picking up five wins from six to cut the gap to leaders Chelsea down to eight points.

Despite their recent revival, Guardiola is expected to make some big changes to the squad at his disposal in the summer.

With an ageing backline and limited options in central midfield, there will surely be another big off-season of expensive signings at the Etihad.

And Guardiola's former captain at Barcelona, Xavi, has hinted at one of the targets he is likely to consider - it is a little surprising.

The Catalan legend revealed that both he and his old boss were left mightily impressed by the performance of Jack Wilshere when Barca played Arsenal in the Champions League back in 2011.

In fact, the pair were left so much in awe of the England youngster that they have been closely following his career ever since and Xavi thinks Wilshere will certainly be a player Pep would like to sign.

"I know Pep has always had a lot of respect for Wilshere - he impressed so many of the Barcelona team when we played Arsenal in 2011," Xavi told Fox Latin America, as per Goal.

"He impressed me a lot that night, I know he also did Pep and it will be a player that he would have been following ever since.

"We have talked about him, it was not a performance you forget easily.

UEFA Champions League Final - Barcelona Training

"Technically he is the sort of player that Pep loves - his only problem has been injuries - and if it wasn't for the issues he has had with injuries I am sure he would be one of the best midfield players in the world.

"At the moment he seems to be doing well with his fitness - and if there is a chance to sign him in the summer - I am sure Pep will give it real consideration."

Of course, Wilshere had the perfect opportunity to audition for a place in Guardiola's thoughts on Monday night when City took on his current club Bournemouth - where he is spending the season on loan.

AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City - Premier League

But his game ended prematurely when the midfielder limped off with a knock to his ankle in the first half as the Cherries lost 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

Wilshere's future at his parent club remains uncertain as it is likely the England international will seek assurances about his role in Arsene Wenger's team upon returning to the Emirates.

That could potentially open the door towards a possible permanent switch to tne Etihad in the summer, where Wilshere could follow the same path as the likes of Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri.

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