Arsenal will listen to Mathieu Flamini offers in January
By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal will listen to offers for Mathieu Flamini in January despite his north London derby heroics, Football Insider sources understand.
The midfielder 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.
This came on his first appearance of the season after he had been frozen out by Arsene Wenger and forced to train away from the first-team squad.
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Wenger said afterwards that Flamini remains part of his thinking but it is understood that the club are still prepared to offload him during the January transfer window.
The 31-year-old, who is out of contract next summer, is regarded as surplus to requirements by Wenger, with Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta ahead of him in the midfield anchorman pecking order.
Flamini started alongside Arteta at White Hart Lane, with Aaron Ramsey in a more advanced role but regular central duo Francis Coquelin, who has a knee injury, and Santi Cazorla were absent.
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.