William Gallas' future at Arsenal has been thrown into doubt following reports from France that he has been stripped of the captaincy and dropped for the trip to Manchester City.
The 31-year-old centre-back has revealed rifts in the Gunners dressing room, a blazing row during the interval of the 4-4 draw with rivals Tottenham and a problem with an unnamed team-mate unsettling Arsene Wenger's squad.
Wenger had to decide whether to give Gallas the armband at Eastlands, with the website of respected magazine France Football suggesting the defender has lost it and is not travelling for the City clash.
Manuel Almunia and Gael Clichy have been billed as alternatives this weekend, as Cesc Fabregas is suspended and Kolo Toure injured.
Former Arsenal full-back Nigel Winterburn believes changing the captaincy would place Gallas' future in doubt.
"If he takes the captaincy away he's almost saying he doesn't trust him as a player and then maybe he shouldn't be playing within the team," said Winterburn on Sky Sports News.
"It shows how disappointed Arsene Wenger is. He must be seriously hurt to take the captaincy away. If he does not travel it could be the end of him at Arsenal."
Gallas has been quoted in the Evening Standard as being open to an eventual return to France for the final stages of his career, which adds fuel to questions of his long-term commitment to Arsenal.
He said: "It's true that I'd like to return to France for one or perhaps two seasons to finish my career."
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