Arsenal prepare for mass exodus as nine senior players face summer axe - report
By Matt Farr
Arsenal are set to undergo a major squad overhaul this summer with up to nine senior players expected to quit the club, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim that as many as nine players could jump ship at the end of the season, with Arsenal in danger of finishing outside of the top four and without Champions League football this term.
It remains a strong possibility that star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will refuse to accept extended contracts with the club, ahead of potential interest from Europe’s elite in the summer.
The pair have already attracted vast reported interest, and their departures could cause a ripple effect throughout the Arsenal first-team squad which could see nine players head for the exit.
It is believed that English quartet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson are also likely to leave the Emirates this summer.
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Wilshere is out of contract at the end of the season, while Oxlade-Chamberlain has yet to receive an offer of a new contract, with just over one year left to run on his current deal.
Gibbs and Jenkinson, meanwhile, have both been dismissed to the fringes of the first-team squad, and are expected to quit the club to earn regular football elsewhere.
Decisions are also set to be made over the futures of loan stars Wojciech Szczesny and Calum Chambers, who are both nearing the end of their respective loan spells at AS Roma and Middlesbrough.
But there is less uncertainty over the futures of Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell, with the trio expected to be sold after failing to make any lasting impact in the first-team squad.
A tenth senior figure could also be on the way out in the form of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, who has been urged by fans to walk away from his post after another disappointing campaign.
Football Insider verdict
Nine departures may sound like an exaggeration, but it is the size of change that sadly has become the requirement at Arsenal this summer. Aside from a few faces, the squad is well below the quality needed for a Premier League title-winning side, and Arsenal must make amends at the earliest opportunity. Upgrades are required in almost every position, but they may even have to find replacements for their top stars who are looking to jump ship in pursuit of silverware. The Gunners have fallen spectacularly from their place among England’s elite, and it may take some time to rebuild from within. After putting it off for years, this summer may finally see Arsenal do that.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are plotting a swoop for 27-year-old Everton enforcer Idrissa Gueye.