Premier League • England

Arsenal to brutally deny midfielder’s wish with ruthless release, as Steven Gerrard intervenes

Steven Gerrard, Martin Odegaard and Mohamed Elneny

Steven Gerrard has set his sights on an Arsenal midfielder for Al-Ettifaq

Arsenal are not even thinking about giving a new contract to midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who will therefore be free to find a new club this summer – and it could take him abroad, a report has revealed.

Elneny is one of the longest serving players at Arsenal, but his contract only has a couple of months remaining. And it appears his destiny will be to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.

According to CaughtOffside, Arsenal have decided not to offer Elneny a new contract. Instead, they will let him leave on a free transfer.

That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since TEAMtalk revealed back in November that Arsenal would even have been willing to sell Elneny in January.

No winter departure ever materialised and Elneny will now get to choose his next club, even if it won’t be exactly what he would’ve preferred.

Indeed, in October, the Egypt international admitted he never wanted to leave Arsenal, stating: “They know I love them 100 per cent, so much. They know I don’t want to leave. I want to stay and finish my career there, 100 per cent.”

But in that same interview, Elneny predicted he still had a few years left in him, so his career won’t be ending at the same time as his Arsenal spell after all.

Clues emerge for Elneny’s next club

As for where he could go next, the report points towards interest from the Saudi Pro League. Specifically, the Al-Ettifaq side managed by Steven Gerrard are named as admirers.

Furthermore, Elneny has interest in the Turkish Super Lig, where he previously played for Besiktas during a loan spell from Arsenal. Besiktas themselves may even offer him a second spell after thinking about him in January.

Elneny may even have already played his last game for Arsenal. He has only made six appearances in his farewell season and the last of those was in February.

Overall, the former Basel star’s Arsenal career has included 161 appearances. But he will soon make way as Mikel Arteta looks to improve his midfield options again.

Last year, Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Declan Rice. This year, their task will be to find an ideal midfield partner for him. There have been links with players like Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi and Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes – who would look favourably on Arteta’s side, as TEAMtalk has learned – among others.

Realistically, Elneny has just been a backup player for a few years now, but clearing him from the wage bill could contribute towards Arsenal’s efforts to upgrade their first team.

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