ISTANDBUL, Turkey - Fenerbahce are set to sign former England midfielder Jack Wilshere after his decision to leave Arsenal, a Turkish report said on Thursday.
Wilshere, who played for Arsenal since boyhood, is leaving the London side on a free transfer after being told by manager Unai Emery he would not be a first choice next season. He would be the first major signing by the Istanbul football club after tycoon Ali Koc ended Aziz Yildirim's two-decade stint as chairman earlier this month, in a seismic change for the club.
The DHA news agency said that Wilshere was in Istanbul, had inspected Fenerbahce's stadium and was looking for a house. "An agreement was found and the deal is expected to be announced in the coming days," it said.
In a sign of his ambition, Koc had already brought in Damien Comolli, who had worked in the past with Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, as director of football. Netherlands and Barcelona midfielder Phillip Cocu has signed on as manager on a three-year contract after a hugely succesful stint as manager of PSV in his native Eindhoven.
DHA said that a private jet belonging to the Koc family business scooped up Wilshere in London before picking up Cocu in Eindhoven and then landing at an Istanbul airport away from the eyes of the press. Wilshere, who made his first-team debut for Arsenal in 2008, missed out on making England's World Cup squad after his form faltered towards the end of the season
Koc wants to make Fenerbahce a Turkish football superpower again after thin pickings in recent years, their last Super Lig victory coming in 2014. Cocu has little time to ease into his new challenge with Fenerbahce playing their first leg in the Champions League third qualifying round in early August.