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Arsene Wenger has vowed to “fight 100%” to keep Jack Wilshere at Arsenal if the midfielder can prove he deserves a new long-term contract.
The England international hinted last week that he may have to leave the Emirates Stadium in search of more regular playing time, having been restricted to just 48 minutes of top-flight football this term.
Wilshere has had a number of injury problems down the years, most recently at the tail end of the last campaign when breaking his leg while on loan at Bournemouth.
Asked about any development on fresh terms for the 25-year-old, Wenger claimed that remaining available for selection should be the top priority at this point in his career.
“For him, it’s just about being fit and considered like any other player in the squad,” he told reporters. “He’s at that level now where every opportunity is a good chance for him to commit to his long-term future.
“I don’t think about the long term. For him I always consider his interest because he’s an Arsenal player since he was a kid and I think about what’s best for him, regardless of the decision I make.
“If I think it right and in his best interests for him to stay here, then I fight 100% for him to stay because he’s a top-quality guy and is back fit now. When you have a top-quality player you want them to stay.”
Wilshere is understood to have attracted interest from Real Betis, who are confident of landing him on a free contract next summer.