Jack Wilshere could leave Arsenal in January after manager Arsene Wenger refused to confirm that the midfielder would stay at the club.
The England international has made just four starts for the Gunners this term, each coming in the Europa League, whilst his Premier League action has been limited to three cameo appearances.
That has led to speculation that he could seek a move to secure more game time ahead of the World Cup next summer.
Whilst Wenger did not commit one way or the other, his comments when asked about Wilshere’s long-term future in North London are likely to fuel the rumour mill with the mid-season transfer window now a little over a month away.
“I don’t think long-term,” the Frenchman told his pre-match press conference ahead of the league clash with Huddersfield Town, as reported by the Daily Express.
“I always considered his interests because he has been an Arsenal player since a kid.
“My first priority is what is best for him. I have to consider the interests of Jack Wilshere and Arsenal.
“If I think its in his best interest to stay here, I will fight 100 percent for that.”
Touted as one of the country’s brightest young talents during his teenage years, Wilshere will turn 26 on New Year’s Day and there are major question marks as to whether he will ever fulfil his undoubted potential.
A series of long-term injuries have undoubtedly hampered his progress and led to him being loaned out to Bournemouth for the entirety of the 2016-17 campaign to regain match sharpness and play regular first-team football.
However, he lost his place in the Cherries’ line-up towards the end of the season and since his return to Arsenal has been used mostly in secondary competitions.
Wilshere played just over 20 minutes at the weekend as Wenger’s men narrowly dispatched Burnley 1-0 through a last-minute Alexis Sanchez penalty at Turf Moor.
They face Huddersfield on Wednesday night before hosting Manchester United on Saturday evening.
With the fixtures starting to pile up as Christmas approaches, Wilshere will be hoping for a more prominent role either to prove his worth to the Gunners or to put himself in the shop window.