Exclusive: Nine senior stars ready to leave Arsenal ahead of summer window
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 nine senior Arsenal players could leave as part of a major reshuffle at the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League giants will 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.
There are also fresh doubts about the futures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, David Ospina and Per Mertesacker, as well as top scorer Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday night, just three days after Watford eliminated them from the FA Cup and their slim chances of winning silverware this season rest upon clawing back an 11-point gap on Premier League leaders Leicester.
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With doubts emerging about whether Arsene Wenger will have the appetite to carry on as manager next season if the Gunners once again fall well short in the title race, there could be a major reshuffle of the senior squad.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s camp have let it be know that he could leave as he enters the final two years of his contract and strong interest from rivals including the Manchester clubs and Liverpool.
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 and there is a possibility he could push for a move back to France.
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.