Belfast Telegraph

Man City's Guardiola will ponder a swoop for Wilshere in summer: Xavi

By Samuel Lovett

Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi believes Pep Guardiola could 'consider' making a move for Arsenal's Jack Wilshere this summer.

The 37-year-old revealed that Guardiola has always fostered "a lot of respect" for Wilshere and with Manchester City looking to reinforce their squad, Xavi made it clear he wouldn't be surprised if his old coach attempted to sign the England international.

"I know Pep has always had a lot of respect for Wilshere - he impressed so many of the Barcelona team when we played Arsenal in 2011," he said. "He impressed me a lot, I know he also did Pep, and he's a player that he would have been following ever since.

"We have talked about him, it was not a performance you forget easily. Technically he is the sort of player that Pep loves - his only problem has been injuries - and if it wasn't for injuries I am sure he would be one of the best midfield players in the world.

"If there is a chance to sign him in the summer, I am sure Pep will give it real consideration."

Wilshere has flourished since moving to Bournemouth on loan last August, making 22 Premier League appearances this campaign - five more than across the previous two seasons at Arsenal.

However, he faces another frustrating spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury against City on Monday night.

Wilshere is being assessed, though manager Eddie Howe insisted the injury was "not serious".

• Defender Dejan Lovren was the one notable absentee from the Liverpool squad which flew out to Spain for a warm weather training camp yesterday.

The Croatia international has not played since the 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea on January 31, missing matches against Hull and Tottenham after sustaining a knee injury. It is understood he will continue his treatment at the club's Melwood training ground.

However, midfielder Lucas Leiva, who was forced off late in the win over Spurs, has made the trip.

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