Jack Wilshere may have given a huge hint towards his next career destination after reportedly being spotted in Istanbul on Wednesday. The 26-year-old appeared to be on his way to Turkish capital city giant, Fenerbahce.
The ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia is obviously a major distraction for top Premier League clubs. Not for Arsenal, however. The Gunners has never been more precise and punctual in the transfer space with a massive flow of players to add to Unai Emery’s arrival.
Two players – Wilshere and Santi Carzola were heavily affected by the club’s clearout plans. While the latter has since returned to his native Spain to rejoin Villareal, the Englishman seems to be at crossroads without any specific direction.
The 26-year-old spent an injury-ravaged 17 years at the Emirates, albeit with brief stops on loan at Bolton Wanderers and Bournemouth. Wilshere made 20 league appearances in the just concluded season yet the club’s hierarchy felt the right was right to let him go.
A number of clubs both home and abroad have shown interest in the England international. Amongst them West Ham, Wolves, Everton and Fenerbahce. However, it seems the Stevenage-native may just fancy a switch abroad.
According to Turkish-football, Wilshere is currently in Istanbul meeting with the record champions. Their new president, Ali Koc, is alleged to be a big fan and has earmarked the 26-year-old together with a couple other big names as he begins to put together whats being hailed as the Turkish Galacticos.
The report claims Koc has already taken Wilshere round the club’s Sukru Saracoglul Stadium in a bid to make him feel welcome. He has also met with Dutch coach, Phillip Cocu and former Arsenal scout Damien Comolli who is now the club’s Sporting Director.
Wilshere appears to have been charmed by the Yellow Canaries. He grew up watching Cocu as a midfielder for Barcelona and the Dutch national team. He also had a good relationship with Comolli during his time in North London.
The 26-year-old will be thrilled by the opportunity to play in Europe. Fenerbahce finished second behind Galatasaray in the Super Lig but still secured a Champions League playoff spot.
To add to that, Fenerbahce is offering a pretty lucrative deal and long-term contract too. What this means is that the Englishman may not necessarily need to take a pay cut at his new club. Wilshere was at £90K weekly deal at Arsenal and could keep that in Istanbul.
Should the deal materialise, he would become only the second English man to kit for the Yellow Canaries after Dalian Atkinson who spent one season between 1995 and 1996. Just 14 of his compatriots have played in Turkish top-flight, however, none has done so in almost five years.