Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta has suggested the Serie A champions could move for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere should they fail in their attempts to lure Liverpool's Emre Can this summer.
Both players will be available on free transfers in July, but when quizzed on interest in Wilshere, Marotta told Italian news agency ANSA (h/t Metro) Can remains the priority before refusing to rule out a move for the Gunners star:
"It is well known that we are concentrating on Emre Can, who will have to give us an answer. He will be the first goal if he shows interest. Otherwise, we will have to move to other targets."
Wilshere, 26, has made 33 appearances across all competitions this season—his most involved campaign in four years—but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expressed doubt about his players's future recently, via The Independent:
Liverpool man Can has been linked with a departure to Turin for most of the current campaign, but Wilshere would stand as a strange alternative considering he and his Reds counterpart are contrasted in styles.
Can has become more than the midfield destroyer he was expected to be upon joining the Reds from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014.
AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso summarised Wilshere's more nuanced qualities prior to their UEFA Europa League exit at Arsenal's hands, per the Evening Standard's James Benge:
James Benge @jamesbenge
Gattuso on Wilshere links to Italy: I remember when I came here in 2012 in this stadium he was a kid but I think he can play in any league...I don’t know where he’ll end up with his contract but I admire him. He has an English personality but the same quality as a Spanish player.
Matt Hughes recently reported for The Times that Everton are contending for Wilshere and have offered the player an £8 million signing-on fee if he joins on a free transfer. He'd also stand to earn more than the £80,000-per-week contract the Gunners have tabled thus far in their negotiations.
Juventus have taken notice of Wenger's playmaker returning to form this season, and his performances have earned him a place back in the plans of England manager Gareth Southgate, per The Independent:
Indy Football @IndyFootball
Jack Wilshere on England: “The manager made it clear what he wanted me to do - get some games for Arsenal and prove my fitness. I have done that and he has been true to his word. It is down to me to repay him now and show everyone I can still perform at that level.” https://t.co/M8LDG2U9JU
But competition of such a high calibre may not serve Wilshere well, with the prospect of battling alongside the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi, Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira a daunting one.
Can, 24, by all means looks the safer investment considering he's younger, poses less of an injury risk and has shown progress every season for the last few years, but he remains in the dark on his future, via Goal:
Both players are free to sign pre-contract agreements with any foreign clubs having entered the final six months of their respective deals, but Wilshere in particular may be focused on staying in his native England.
Can's future could well come to dictate the Englishman's, although Marotta's comments don't disclose just how high on their shortlist Wilshere may stand.