Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere says he will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.
The 26-year-old England international made his Gunners debut in 2008 and has made 197 first-team appearances.However, his future at Emirates Stadium was in doubt following the arrival of new manager Unai Emery.“I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I havedue to purely footballing reasons,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Such was my desire to stay that I had in fact recently agreed to sign a financially reduced contract in order to commit my future to the club.“My intention throughout these discussionshas always been to remain an Arsenal player. I have been on the books at Arsenalfor 17 years and have always felt part of the fabric of the club.“Following my meeting with the new manager I was made aware that although the reduced contract offer remained, it was made clear to me that my playing timewould be significantly reduced should I decide to stay.“
I am sure everyone can understand that atthis point in my life and career I need to be playing first-team football and following mymeeting with Mr Emery I came away feeling that it would be very difficult for meto do so at Arsenal.“Given this, I feel I have no option but to pursue other opportunities in order to progress my career on the pitch.”Wilshere signed a five-and-a-half-year deal in 2012, and had been in talks “for a number of months” about a new contract.
He was part of the 2014 and 2015 FA Cup-winning sides and helped the Gunners beat Manchester City 3-0 in the 2014 Community Shield at Wembley.