Arsenal news: Gunners to offload first-team duo at the end of the season
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Arsenal will offload Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta at the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The veteran midfield duo are both out of contract next June after agreeing extensions last summer.
However, Arsene Wenger has no plans to offer new deals to the pair as he steps up plans to freshen up his central midfield.
As revealed by Football Insider last Friday, Wenger is targeting a midfield anchorman in the January transfer window.
He is willing listen to offers for Flamini in the winter window although he would only allow the Frenchman to leave Emirates Stadium if a replacement is secured.
Club captain Arteta is considered more likely to stay on until the end of the campaign, although he has made only irregular appearances over the last 12 months after losing his first-team spot to Francis Coquelin.
Flamini scored the first brace of his 12-year senior career as the Gunners knocked rivals Tottenham out of the League Cup with a 2-1 victory last month.
This came on his first appearance of the season after he had been frozen out by Wenger and forced to train away from the first-team squad.
Wenger said afterwards that Flamini remains part of his thinking but it is understood that the club are still prepared to offload him in January.
Flamini had agreed personal terms with Galatasaray earlier in the summer but the move stalled because he was unable to negotiate a severance package with the Gunners.
The midfielder wanted Arsenal to pay him a portion of the final year of his contract to compensate for the reduced salary offered by the Turkish club. In July, he agreed the terms of a three-year deal with Galatasaray worth £60,000-a-week but held back on signing because he wanted a pay-off upwards of £1million.
Arsenal were unwilling to pay that and Flamini stayed at Emirates Stadium but, despite his White Hart Lane heroics, he is not expected to be offered a new deal beyond next summer.
Flamini’s current deal, which began in 2013, is a ‘two years plus one’ deal, with a 12-month extension running until 2016 automatically triggered when he reached the 25-appearance mark last season. In total the Frenchman played 33 matches for the Gunners in 2014-15.
But Flamini, who turned 31 in March, has not made a Premier League start since 2014 and has been on the fringes since Francis Coquelin returned from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic last December to cement his place in Wenger’s team.