The English transfer window may have closed but Unai Emery’s squad could enter next month notably changed from the one that began the season.
Certainly Emery has not shied away from confirming that several players are no longer in his plans and welcome to leave before the European window closes. Clubs from Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Turkey’s Super Lig are among those who are able to carry out business until September 2.
Top of Arsenal’s wishlist for the remainder of August is to get the wages of Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny off the books. Though the former started regularly under Emery last season his performances were chock-marked with high-profile errors that took away from the better moments he enjoyed for the club.
Meanwhile Elneny was a fringe player even before the emergence of Joe Willock and addition of Dani Ceballos. The Egyptian international played just 379 minutes of Premier League football last season and, like Mustafi, has not featured in the matchday squads for any of the three games so far this term.
Emery has left no-one in any doubt that he wants both players to leave. “They know the situation and really, really I am wishing the best for them and I think now the best for them is to be protagonists in another team and sign and to get another challenge for them with another team,” he said last week.
There are no guarantees, however, that either player will depart before the European window closes.
Elneny appears to have more concrete interest in his signature and has today been the subject of links with Bordeaux, who have already signed Laurent Koscielny from Arsenal this summer. football.london also understands that there are several clubs in Turkey eager to sign the midfielder.
Fenerbahce held talks with Arsenal in May and June and could yet revive their interest whilst Galatasaray are also monitoring Elneny’s availability.
Roma and Monaco are among the clubs monitoring Mustafi but Arsenal have not received any formal declarations of interest in the World Cup winner. Ideally the club hierarchy would like to recoup as much of the £35million they spent on him in 2016 as possible but those parties considering doing business would likely favour a loan move.
One player who seems increasingly likely to leave is Nacho Monreal. Arsenal have been aware of Real Sociedad’s interest in the 33-year-old for some time and Unai Emery held off on confirming his captaincy quintet, of which the defender is currently a member, whilst he waits for the transfer window to shut.
Monreal has been offered a two year contract in Spain and has less than a year to run on his Arsenal terms. Delaying the move to January would make sense for the Gunners, giving time for Kieran Tierney to settle in as first-choice left-back, but would not be favoured by Sociedad, who would be forced to look elsewhere to fill the gap in the position left by Theo Hernandez’s departure.
Meanwhile Emile Smith Rowe is increasingly likely to stay at the club until January rather than pursue a loan move. Sources close to the youngster have told football.london Arsenal want him to complete his rehabilitation from a groin injury with them before allowing him to depart on a temporary basis.
Smith Rowe has made three appearances for the Under-23s, scoring in a win over Blackburn. He is expected to join Emery’s senior squad once his recovery is complete though he may still feature for the youth team.
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