Arsenal latest: Wilshere praises transfer target, £18m playmaker could leave

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Emirates Stadium...

Whilst Arsenal are still basking in the glory of winning their first trophy in nine years after lifting the FA Cup, the attention is now turning towards the World Cup and the transfer window. The Gunners have been linked with a move to sign AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli recently, and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has praised the former Manchester City forward ahead of their meeting as England face Italy in Brazil this weekend.

"First and foremost, we have to worry about him as a player," said Wilshere. "He is a great player. We have seen that in the past. We have got players who have played with him, Joe Hart, James Milner and defenders who have played against him in the Premier League. I don’t think that will be a problem.”

Wilshere has been trying to get match fit ahead of the World Cup, but whilst his chances of playing a key part continue to grow, Arsenal team mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is currently sidelined through injury, but England boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful that the midfielder will return to face Uruguay next week.

"He's done very well and will work on his training programme during the course of the week," said Hodgson. "But it’s a job for me to say when he will be ready. It’s a medical matter. There are no guarantees. The medics are hoping he could be fit by the second game," he added.

The return of both Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be a huge boost to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger next season, but it could spell the end of the road for one Gunners midfielder. Both England youngsters will look for regular football in North London next term, and Atletico Madrid are looking to take advantage by making an £18m swoop for Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla. With Arda Turan reportedly set to leave Diego Simeone's side, Spanish international Cazorla is believed to be Atletico's first choice to replace the Turkish winger, and could test Arsenal's resolve imminently.



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