Arsenal are preparing to hand Mikel Arteta a new contract that will extend his time at the Emirates as manager. But that could be bad news for some players already at the club.
Mikel Arteta is on the brink of being handed a new contract at Arsenal in a whirlwind 12 months.
At one point last season, the Spaniard looked like he was fighting for his job while the Gunners had a disastrous campaign in the Premier League.
They finished eighth and missed out of European football – the first time in 20 years – and many fans were unhappy.
But after ousting plenty of the squad and bringing in his own recruits, the Arsenal bigwigs are happy for the former Manchester City assistant to continue and are preparing a new three-year contract worth £25m, report The Sun.
However, for those that are on the sidelines at the Emirates that could be a bad omen.
One player to have fallen off the earth is Pepe, who was signed from Lille for a club-record £72m in 2018 but has yet to repay Arsenal.
And that does not look likely any time soon with Arteta in charge, who prefers Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe as his wide options.
Gabriel Martinelli has also jumped ahead of the Ivorian in the pecking order and it might be best for all parties if Pepe makes a swift exit from north London.
The trouble will be a fee with Arsenal keen on recouping much of the £72m they forked out four years ago but that would be very unlikely.
Another currently with Marseille on loan, as long as Arteta is at the helm there appears to be no way back for Guendouzi at Arsenal.
After a fallout just months into the coach’s reign at the Emirates, the Frenchman has not played since and was sent out on loan to Hertha Berlin last year.
In Germany and now France, Guendouzi has impressed but a permanent move away beckons this summer for the Frenchman.
However, finding a suitor has proved difficult but at Marseille, the former Lorient star appears to feel at home where the club are as bonkers as his hair.
Arteta has come under fire on occasion for how far some players have looked out of sorts with Bellerin being one of them.
Injuries have had a huge impact on the Spaniard’s career but once upon a time, the full-back looked one of the most exciting players to come out of Arsenal’s academy in years.
It has even led to speculation that he would join Barcelona but he instead finds himself on loan to Real Betis.
And that could turn permanent in the summer after Takehiro Tomiyasu was signed in the summer, who is Arteta’s man at right-back, all but ending Bellerin’s career in north London.
Perhaps one of the players that might be most worried about another three years of Arteta is Saliba, who is out on loan at Marseille.
Despite impressing in France during his three loan periods there, which also include stints at Nice and Saint Etienne, the defender has yet to appear for the Gunners.
That includes a humiliating four months where Saliba was left out of the Europa League squad last year while Marseille are keen to keep hold of the Frenchman.
And Saliba might believe that staying at the Velodrome might be his best option for first-team football.
There are fewer curious cases than Maitland-Niles at Arsenal, who appeared to be motoring quite well under Arteta only for it to come to a shuddering stop.
His versatility was seen as a huge plus on his CV but eventually he was ousted in midfield and as a right-back – despite the Gunners desperately needing players in both positions.
A loan to Everton fell through in the summer only for the Englishman to move to AS Roma in January instead, where he has not missed a Serie A game yet.
It would appear that his Arsenal future is over with Arteta in the hotseat after a bizarre season on the sidelines and Jose Mourinho could give him the lift that he needs.
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