By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Up to 10 senior players could be offloaded by Arsenal as part of a radical squad overhaul at the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League giants are ready to listen to offers for full-backs Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy as well as allow Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky to leave when their contracts expire in the summer.
Well-placed Arsenal sources have told Football Insider there are also fresh doubts about the futures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, David Ospina and Per Mertesacker, as well as top scorer Olivier Giroud.
Following elimination from the Champions League and FA Cup, Arsenal’s slim chances of winning silverware this season were virtually ended following Saturday’s 3-3 draw against West Ham.
It left Arsene Wenger’s side 10 points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester with just six matches of the season remaining.
There could now be the biggest overhaul of the first-team squad for a number of years following another season that has not lived up to expectations.
An Arsenal recruitment source has told Football Insider that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s camp have let it be known that he could leave as he enters the final two years of his contract amid strong interest from rivals including Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Walcott has found himself on the fringes of the team in the final months of the campaign despite being fully fit, and Arsenal will listen to offers for a player who signed a lucrative new four-year contract last summer.
Mertesacker, who turns 32 in September, is out of contract in 2017, while Ospina could look to leave in the search for more regular first-team football.
Giroud signed a contract extension last year but his form has dipped dramatically since the turn of the year, he turns 30 in September, has lost his first-team place to Danny Welbeck and there is a possibility he could push for a move back to France or another Premier League club.
Gibbs, 26, and Debuchy, 30, have lost their status as first-choice full-backs and the Gunners are ready to cash in on the pair while they can still command high transfer fees.
Academy graduate Gibbs is contracted to Arsenal until 2018, while Debuchy, who is on loan at French club Bordeaux for the rest of this campaign, has a deal that runs until 2019.
Arsenal are preparing to further strengthen their central midfield after signing Mohamed Elneny from Basle in the January window.
Flamini, 31, is keen to land a new contract after playing regularly in recent months, but he is facing an uphill battle to change the club’s plans.
In other Arsenal transfer news, veteran pair Arteta and Rosicky will end their lengthy associations with the Londoners at the end of the season after spending most of the campaign sidelined through injury.