x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Wilshere: Cesc Fabregas should be a 'real man' and stay at Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder wants loyalty from his captain, while QPR sign Jay Bothroyd and Newcastle's Joey Barton is refused US visa.

Jack Wilshere, the Arsenal midfielder, acknowledges he would be devastated if Cesc Fabregas were to leave the Gunners and hopes the Spain international will be a "real man" and show the same loyalty to the club he did last year.

Wilshere has also stressed the importance of keeping key players like Fabregas and Samir Nasri if Arsenal are to end their trophy drought.

Both Fabregas and contract rebel Nasri have been heavily linked with moves away from Arsenal this summer, with Fabregas again being courted by his former club Barcelona, who failed in their bid to take the 24-year-old back to Camp Nou last summer.

Wilshere, 19, praised Fabregas for his loyalty on that occasion and is keeping his fingers crossed the midfielder — and other key players — opt to stay with the Gunners this summer.

"Loyalty is a big part of football and it shows if you are a real man or not," Wilshere said. "If you are loyal, that means you`re a real man.

"We have got loyalty at Arsenal — players have shown that in the past. Cesc showed that last year and hopefully a few more players can show it this year. Then we will see if we can get a trophy or not."

He added: "We have to keep our best players if we want to win things. Any team wants to keep their best players. Look at Tottenham and what`s happening with Luka Modric.

"Robin [van Persie] said he would be devastated if we lose Cesc and it`s the same for me. He has been a role model for me and he is the player I want to aspire to.

"It would be a shame if we lose him but hopefully we can keep hold of him."

Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers have signed the former Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd on a three-year contract.

Bothroyd, capped once by England, had been a free-agent and becomes QPR manager's Neil Warnock's first off-season signing.

Bothroyd's move marks a return to Rangers for the striker, who was with the with the club's centre of excellence from the age of nine before moving to Arsenal's FA Youth Cup winning side.

"I spoke to the manager and he told me how much he wanted me," Bothroyd told the club's official website.

"He convinced me that this was the right place to be. He told me the direction that he wants to go in and the way he wants to play. I think this club is heading in the right direction and has got a lot of ambition."

Joey Barton's criminal past came back to haunt him when the Newcastle United midfielder was denied a US visa, meaning he will miss his club's pre-season Stateside trip.

The 28-year-old, who was given a six-month jail sentence after admitting assault and affray in 2008, has been denied the necessary permission to travel with the rest of the first-team. He will now join Newcastle's reserves for their pre-season trip to the Netherlands.

"I regret not being able to travel with the club on this trip, but at the same time, I don't expect to be treated any differently or more favourably than anyone else in a similar situation," Barton said in a statement. "All I can do is continue to improve as a person, which is what I intend to do."