By Joe Nelson
Mainz have joined fellow Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin in the race to sign Serge Gnabry on a season-long loan, according to a report.
The Sun claim that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will sanction Gnabry’s exit for the 2016-17 campaign as he is not in his plans.
Sky Sports reported on their website that Hertha Berlin are interested in the German winger but it appears they now face competition from Mainz.
Wenger revealed earlier this week that he want to tie the 21-year-old wide forward down to a new deal before he leaves on loan.
“I want to keep Serge Gnabry and extend his contract. I think we stood by him,” said Wenger on Thursday, as quoted by the Sky Sports on their transfer centre blog (9.23am). “He went to West Brom, didn’t play, we had to rebuild his confidence.
“I allowed him to go to the Olympics to help Germany. I think he’s here now for a long time.”
The 21-year-old winger enjoyed a sparkling Rio 2016 Olympics, scoring six goals as Germany reached the final, only to be beaten on penalties by Brazil in the gold medal match on Saturday night.
Gnabry scored his penalty, but it was Brazil who prevailed, with Barcelona’s Neymar scoring the winning spot-kick.
The youngster had a disappointing loan at Premier League rivals West Brom last season, where he was recalled after making just three appearances for Tony Pulis’ side in all competitions.
A loan spell seems the most logical move for Gnabry now, as he is behind the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Joel Campbell, Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez in his favoured positions on either flank.
Gnabry has not played for the Gunners since 2014, and he has scored only Premier League goal to date for Arsenal in a win against Swansea.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners have set their sights on another Algerian international.