Mikel Arteta has insisted that Shkodran Mustafi’s immediate future still lies with Arsenal and he is in contention to feature for the Gunners, in comments reported by Football London.
Mustafi’s days at the Emirates look to be numbered. As reported by Football London in October, he previously rejected a new contract and has told the club that he plans to leave on a free in the summer.
He is now able to discuss a pre-contract deal with foreign clubs. And of course, with the window open, there is an opportunity for Arsenal to move him on before he leaves for nothing.
Given Mustafi’s form throughout his spell with the Gunners, some may be hoping that Arsenal let him go. But when asked about his future, Arteta hinted that the supporters should not expect him to go anywhere this month.
“The reality is that we have to change that for different reasons, use different personnel,” he said, as reported by Football London, when discussing his lack of game-time. “He’s been very close in a few games. But now we’ve found as well a partnership that is giving us clean sheets, and sometimes when you do that it’s difficult to change. But he’s still in contention.
“His future right now is here,” he added. “Trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club this window, we have William that has already gone on loan.
“So we don’t have that many right now. Gabi has been out for a period, David has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”
Arsenal surely cannot snub any reasonable bids for Mustafi this month. As things stand, it seems difficult to see him playing too often.
According to Spotrac, he earns £90,000-a-week. That is a lot to pay for a player on the very periphery of the squad. And it would surely hand Arteta’s funds a boost if he could be offloaded before the deadline passes.
But as things stand, it appears that Mustafi is set to stay for a while longer.