There is likely to be plenty of Arsenal players leaving at the end of the season due to their contracts expiring.
Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini will all be out-of-contract in the summer and are set to leave the Emirates on a free.
The Gunners are willing to allow the trio to leave with the midfielders being 33, 35 and 32-years-old respectively.
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Although the club will seemingly allow these players to leave, The Times have reported that the north London side plan to open current negotiations with Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during next season.
However, the report suggests that the club are reluctant to offer defender Per Mertesacker a new deal.
Out of favour
The 31-year-old’s current contract ends at the end of next season and the German has struggled with form recently, finding himself on the bench.
Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny now seem to be Arsene Wenger’s ideal centre-back partnership with them starting the previous two fixtures against Barcelona and Everton.
Captain next season?
With Arteta leaving the club at the end of the campaign, vice-captain Mertesacker is likely to be promoted to skipper but will need to prove he is still capable of playing at the highest level if he is to earn a contract extension.
However, both Petr Cech and Koscielny will be candidates to be given the captaincy by Wenger for next season.
Despite Cech having an impressive campaign, Arsenal have conceded six more goals than north London rivals Tottenham and three more than Manchester United.
While Koscielny, who is in his sixth season at the club, still appears to be the first choice centre-back next season, Arsenal fans believe he needs a quality partner in the back four.
Gabriel has been inconsistent during his 15 Premier League appearances this season while the future of Mertesacker, obviously, appears uncertain.
Funds to spend
It was reported that the Arsenal board have given Wenger an ultimatum to spend big if he wants to keep his job and a central defender will surely be identified as a priority.
Last month, Wenger admitted that his side need a commanding defender to play alongside Koscielny.
"None of the two [Gabriel and Mertesacker] is a real commander. I ask Petr Cech to lead a bit more, because they don't talk too much," Wenger told reporters, per ESPN.
"Koscielny is a silent leader, and Gabriel at the moment doesn't master [English] well enough. And I don't think as well he's a natural extroverted defender,” he added.
Arsenal fans: do you think your club should offer Mertesacker a new contract? Let us know in the comments box below!
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