Exclusive: Newcastle Jets have launched an ambitious bid for former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere - currently without a club after departing Championship outfit Bournemouth at the end of last season.
Still only 29, free agent Wilshere, who also had a two-year spell at West Ham, has struggled to attract offers in the UK due to his chequered injury history.
But the Jets, looking to make a big splash this season under new coach Arthur Papas, have cash in the kitty for a marquee signing, and view Wilshere as a prime target.
It’s understood they have been in discussions with his London-based agent Neil Fewings over the possibility of an A-League adventure for the Englishman, who received an offer last week from Mikel Arteta to train with Arsenal.
The nuggety but technically gifted Wilshere has also been contacted by League One Wigan Athletic, as well as a club in the Middle East.
Having made a small fortune from 13 seasons in the Premier League, Wilshire might be tempted to explore a new football frontier and consider joining the club fellow ex-England international Emile Heskey briefly featured for nearly a decade ago.
Wilshere made almost 200 appearances over 10 years for Arsenal, having broken into the
first team at just 16.
He was Arsenal's Player of the Year and voted PFA Young Player of the year in 2011, and has amassed 34 caps for England.
He recently toyed with the notion of quitting football altogether but told The Athletic late last month that the “hunger” was back.
“What I would say is I still have that hunger in me, somewhere deep in me, that all I want to do is play football,” Wilshere said.
“I don’t want people think, ‘Oh look, poor Jack, he hasn’t got a club, (but) he’s made loads of money out of football, he gets to stay home with his kids’.
“When I wake up in the morning I want to look forward to going to training and being with the lads. I want to get back out on the pitch.”
Wilshere made 17 appearances for the Cherries season as they just missed out on promotion and in recent weeks has been training with Italian Serie B side Como.
FTBL sought comment from Jets executive chairman Shane Mattiske, along with Fewings who also represents Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk.