Premier League • England

Decision made as Arsenal smooth waters for outcast’s winter exit

Nicolas Pepe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mohamed Elneny celebrate Arsenal goal

Arsenal are reportedly happy to allow forgotten midfielder Mohamed Elneny to leave on a free transfer in the January transfer window.

The 29-year-old appears surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium. Manager Mikel Arteta has handed him just 48 minutes of top-flight football in 2021-2022. The Egypt international has started two EFL Cup games but it is inevitable that his days in north London are numbered.

In truth, the defensive midfielder has never really made the expected impact with the Gunners. Signed in January 2016 by Arsene Wenger, he has made only 50 Premier League starts across nearly six seasons at the club.

The African was loaned to Turkish club Besiktas for the 2019-2020 campaign. And he enjoyed 27 starts for the Istanbul-based outfit, scoring once.

Back at Arsenal, he enjoyed 17 starts among 23 top-flight appearances last term. But Arteta has barely used him this season and a winter exit is now looming.

Elneny will be out of contract next summer. However it has been reported, per The Mirror that Arsenal are willing to let him leave for nothing in the new year.

That will speed up his inevitable departure and get him off the wage bill. Earlier this month, the player’s agent, William d’Avila, admitted that the schemer does fancy a move to Turkey.

Galatasaray are favourites but others also come into the equation.

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“Apart from Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir, Besiktas or Trabzonspor are interested in Elneny,” he said. “I can’t answer this question if Galatasaray is the only option in Turkey.

“Of course Galatasaray has an interest because he will be a free agent, he is a good footballer, he knows Turkey, it is advantageous that he knows Turkey.

“I can say that Galatasaray is an important option for him. But I can’t say any more about it because it is too early to talk.”

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According to Turkish outlet Fanatik, Galatasaray are at the front of the queue. And the fact they will not have to pay even a small transfer fee makes the move more likely.

Elneny closing on Arsenal exit

Elneny joined the Gunners from Swiss side Basel and has shown glimpses of his undoubted talent. But he has never been the commanding presence that Wenger hoped he would be.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Rumours have continued to grow over the past few months that he was unhappy at warning the bench. And now it seems as though he will get his wish, with a return to Turkey only a matter of weeks away.

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