Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is prepared to get rid of Mathieu Flamini if he can convince Mikel Arteta to stay, with the latter not content to be sitting on the sidelines.
Both men are approaching the end of their respective contracts in north London, and with Wenger wanting to revamp his midfield he’s prepared to let go Flamini in order to make room for improvements. According to The Sun the Frenchman could be offloaded for a cut-price fee, with the money made then put towards the purchase of long-time target Morgan Schneiderlin.
The same report claims that Abou Diaby’s days are numbered at the Emirates Stadium, and with Wenger in need of a proper midfield enforcer it would appear that change is in the air. One player he doesn’t want to be bereft of is the veteran Arteta - currently vice-captain - as he is a useful role model for the youngsters in his squad.
Keeping him may be easier said than done however, with the Spaniard not willing to sit out the remainder of his Arsenal contract on the bench. There’s sure to be a number of clubs ready to take him on board should he become available in the summer, and it could well transpire that he’s prepared to drop down in terms of quality if it means more opportunities on the pitch.
One club seemingly interested is La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, currently coached by former Everton boss David Moyes, but Wenger might avoid a sale if he can make some sort of promise to Arteta regarding the time he’ll get on the pitch. To make such assurances he’ll inevitably have to free up room, and it seems as though Flamini’s head is dangerously close to the chopping block.
Since signing a surprise deal with Arsenal after his hiatus at AC Milan Flamini has looked more composed and mature that he did during his first spell with the Gunners. Yet despite that he can’t boast the same valuation as the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, and with Diaby not having contested a first-team place for a long-time, he’s the next on the list if cuts are to be made.
Getting rid of him and raising money for a £20 million swoop on Schneiderlin would certainly make fans happy given how long they’ve waited for a recognised midfield enforcer. The Saints ace is more established than the resurgent Francis Coquelin and more experienced at the highest level, which Wenger would hope would translate into a more consistent and reliable option protecting the back four.
Arsenal fans, do you think Flamini should be let go in order to fund a move for Schneiderlin? Or should he be allowed to stay? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...