Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has revealed that Guardiola first noticed Wilshere in 2011 when Barcelona played Arsenal in the Champions League, and he’s remained an admirer of the midfielder ever since.
Guardiola praised ‘quality’ Wilshere earlier in the week despite Manchester City overcoming Bournemouth 2-0, and this might have sparked speculation that the Catalan may look to sign the Arsenal midfielder in the summer.
“I know Pep has always had a lot of respect for Wilshere,” Xavi said, “He impressed so many of the Barcelona team when we played Arsenal in 2011. He impressed me a lot that night, I know he also did Pep and it will be a player that he would have been following ever since.
“We talked about him, it was not a performance you forget easily.”
Wilshere moved to Bournemouth on loan from Arsenal after finding his first-team spot blocked by several players and to regain his fitness after returning from long-term injury. The 25-year-old has played 28 games for Bournemouth so far, assisting on two occasions.
Xavi added: “Technically, he is the sort of player that Pep loves–his only problem has been injuries–and it wasn’t for the issues he has had with injuries, I am sure he would be one of the best midfield players in the world.
“At the moment he seems to be doing well in his fitness–and if there’s a chance to sign him in the summer–I am sure Pep will give it a consideration.”
Should Guardiola decide to go after Wilshere however, he would meet sturdy opposition from Wenger who still values his player. But ultimately it will depend on the price offered and Wenger’s decision whether to extend his Arsenal stay.