Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that midfielder Abou Diaby will not be offered a new contract this summer.
The 28-year-old's current deal expires at the end of the season - and Wenger, according to The Sun, admits he cannot justify handing a new deal to the player.
Diaby has made one first-team appearance all season - the same number of games he played for the Gunners last term - and Wenger is now prepared to let the former France international leave the Emirates Stadium.
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Wenger drops hint over Diaby's future
Speaking after Wednesday night's 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers, the Arsenal boss said: “The only thing I can say about Diaby is that he progresses well in training. He goes step by step but is not yet in a position to play.
“I will have to talk to him soon about his contract. I plan to do that this month.”
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Forty injuries in nine years
Diaby has reportedly suffered more than 40 injuries since joining the Gunners in a £2 million deal from Auxerre in January 2006, and Wenger has finally given up hope of ever getting the Frenchman back to full fitness.
Subsequently, the Arsenal manager will now concentrate on recruiting a new holding midfielder to replace Diaby, even though Francis Coquelin was handed a new three-year contract last month following his impressive recent form.
Furthermore, Wenger is understood to have doubts over the long-term durability of both Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, who will reportedly be offloaded for a cut-price fee this summer.
Bid for Morgan Schneiderlin planned
The Gunners hope to raise money to fund a £20 million bid for Southampton's France international Morgan Schneiderlin.
Wenger, however, is happy for club captain Arteta to stay at the the Emirates Stadium - despite interest from Real Sociedad boss David Moyes - because he sets a good example to the club's youngsters.
Time for Diaby to retire
While Diaby has, at times, been a useful player for Arsenal over the years there's no doubt Wenger is making the right decision.
The central midfielder, who was once tipped to become the new Patrick Vieira, has made just 15 Premier League appearances since the end of the 2010-11 season.
There are few things sadder in football than wasted talent, but Diaby's injury problems are down to no fault of his own.
And unfortunately he will have a struggle finding a new club willing to pay his wages as a result of his dreadful injury record.
Should Diaby announce his retirement after leaving Arsenal this summer? Who should the Gunners replace him with? Have your say in the comments below!
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