Jack Wilshere has met with Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as the south coast club look to steal a march on Crystal Palace and sign the Arsenal star on loan.
The Cherries have a trump card in their bid to land the England international, with former Gunners striker Benik Afobe set to play a big role in convincing his old team-mate to join.
Afobe and Wilshere are best friends, with Afobe godfather to Wilshere’s child.
That relationship could be key for Bournemouth, who are determined to seal Wilshere’s signature under the noses of Palace and 20 other clubs across Europe.
The Eagles were originally the frontrunners to snap up the Arsenal playmaker on a season-long loan after Wilshere met with manager Alan Pardew on Tuesday afternoon.
There was growing confidence at Selhurst Park that the 24-year-old would choose to stay in the capital but Pardew and Co could yet be left disappointed.
Italian duo Roma and Juventus have also shown an interest, as have Watford, with Wilshere’s future needing to be sorted by the time the transfer window closes at 11pm on Wednesday.
After coming back from injury the midfielder found himself behind the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka in the Emirates pecking order.
He was subsequently left out of Three Lions manager Sam Allardyce’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying clash with Slovakia, prompting the decision to go out on loan – as revealed by Sportsmail.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Wilshere still has a long-term role at the Emirates but feels he will benefit from playing regularly.
Although he represented England at Euro 2016, Wilshere’s first-team appearances at the Emirates have been limited in recent months.
He has come off the bench twice in 2016 for a combined total of 37 minutes in addition to the 141 minutes he managed last term.