Jack Wilshere has revealed that Arsene Wenger told him last summer that he was free to leave Arsenal as the club were not willing to offer him a contract at that time.
The midfielder was recovering from a broken leg suffered while on loan at Bournemouth, and the manager suggested that he was not in his plans for the upcoming season.
The circumstances and the injury meant he didn’t leave, and until now the 26 year old has made 31 appearances after playing his way back into first team contention.
However, his contract situation remains an ongoing issue, with both player and club seemingly at a stalemate.
Speaking about the conversation with Wenger last summer, Wilshere said, “It was an honest conversation.
“It had been boiling up for a while. Everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and had been out on loan, got injured and wasn’t really in his plans.
“He just said: ‘At the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract so, if you can get one somewhere else, you can go.’
“Obviously I wasn’t happy with what the manager had said but, at the same time, part of me knew all this already.
“All I needed was some clarity on where I stood at the football club. He’d said I could fight for my position and, if I performed well in the Carabao Cup and Europa League, I’d have a chance.
“I had three or four weeks left in the transfer window but I didn’t find anything I wanted and at the same time I wasn’t really fit.
“So I decided to build up my fitness. I always had confidence I could get back into the midfield, and keep my place, if I was fit.”
Wilshere has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal, insisting last week he was no closer to agreeing to the terms of offer from Arsenal, with Wenger suggesting the club had gone as far as it was willing to go in that regard.
The England international, back in the fold for the first time since 2016, says he would like his future sorted before the World Cup, and that he’s committed to helping the Gunners achieve success in the Europa League, but more and more his departure feels inevitable.