Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed that he will leave the North London giants when his present contract expires at the end of this month.
Wilshere, 26, confirmed his exit via his official Instagram handle as he disclosed that he arrived at the decision after meeting with new head coach Unai Emery.
He rose through the Arsenal Academy before making his debut for the club in 2008.
The England international went on to make 197 appearances for his boyhood club and played his part as Arsenal won three FA Cup titles in four seasons.
He signed a new contract in 2012 which took him to the summer of 2018 and has been in contract renewal talks with Arsenal for several months before he arrived at a resolution about his future after meeting with Unai Emery.
On his Instagram page, Wilshere wrote that: “I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I have due to purely footballing reasons.”
“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 discussions has always been to remain an Arsenal player. I have been on the books at Arsenal for 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 time would be significantly reduced should I decide to stay.
“I am sure everyone can understand that at this point in my life and career I need to be playing first-team football and following my meeting with Mr Emery I came away feeling that it would be very difficult for me to 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.”
He has been linked with summer moves to Premier League sides like Southampton and Crystal Palace.