Villarreal have made their first official offer for Arsenal outcast Matteo Guendouzi, according to reports.
Guendouzi has fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta, despite showing promise in his earlier Arsenal career. The French midfielder has faced disciplinary issues and the Gunners are now willing to let him leave.
Reports emerged last week that former Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants a reunion with Guendouzi. Emery was in charge when Arsenal signed the midfielder, and has recently secured his first job since leaving the Emirates Stadium.
Villarreal have submitted an offer to take Guendouzi on loan, and potentially on a permanent basis thereafter. Arsenal would prefer to sell the 21-year-old this summer, but a loan could allow his value to increase.
The Gunners currently want around £30m for Guendouzi. But even if they can’t get that fee up front, they know loaning him out could at least get his wages off the books.
If he impresses, they could potentially demand a higher fee for him next summer. The report mentions a “view to a permanent deal”, rather than an option or obligation to buy for a fixed price.
Guendouzi made more than half of his Arsenal appearances to date under Emery. However, he has not seen eye to eye with Arteta, who is looking to reconstruct his midfield.
Guendouzi top of six-man exit list
Reports last week suggested that Arsenal have made the sale of Guendouzi a priority. However, he is not the only one being linked with a departure.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal are also looking to sell five other players ahead of the new season. Mesut Ozil, who hasn’t played since lockdown, is also on the hitlist.
But Guendouzi is the player Arsenal are most actively looking to move on.