Shkodran Mustafi has no intention of staying at Arsenal beyond the end of this season, a report claims.
Mustafi has been at Arsenal since 2016, when he joined from Valencia for £35m. His time at the Emirates Stadium hasn’t all gone to plan, though.
The German defender has made nearly 150 appearances for Arsenal, but has frequently been criticised. Following the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes this summer, he has fallen down the pecking order.
However, his form was beginning to improve after Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal manager last winter. Until he suffered an injury in July, he was on a run of 15 starts from 17 games.
That same month, Arteta admitted he was pleased with Mustafi when asked about the defender’s long-term future.
“I’m really happy with him as you can see,” he said at the time. “The way he’s playing, how committed he is with everything we’re trying to do, the level in his performance ever three or four days, he’s been really consistent.”
Hence, despite being confined to the sidelines, Mustafi still received a new contract offer from Arsenal over the summer, according to Football London.
The website claims Arsenal offered fresh terms to the 28-year-old, with his contract due to expire in 2021. However, he turned down the proposal.
Mustafi is eyeing a future away from Arsenal, and the Premier League altogether. According to the report, he wants to return to Italy, where he used to play for Sampdoria.
Last month, he was linked with a potential move to Lazio. Any Italian move would allow him to be closer to his wife’s family, who come from Switzerland.
Alternatively, he could return to his own native country, Germany. He has never played club football in his homeland, but did hire an agent working in Germany last year.
Saliba to benefit from Mustafi decision?
Mustafi’s desire to leave Arsenal at the end of the season could open up more opportunities for William Saliba.
The young French defender spent last season on loan at Saint Ettiene, who wanted him back for another campaign this year. However, Saliba failed to secure a loan away from Arsenal.
Therefore, he will have to fight for his place with the likes of Gabriel, Mustafi and David Luiz, in order to ensure his development does not stagnate.
According to Football London, his chance may come soon. Arsenal have four games in the space of eight days to contend with, so Mikel Arteta could rotate his squad.