Shkodran Mustafi rejected Arsenal’s proposal of a contract extension in the summer and informed the board he plans to leave at the end of the term, football.london understands.
The German centre-half, whose contract expires next year, enjoyed a renaissance under Gunners manager Mikel Arteta last season, starting 15 of Arsenal’s last 17 matches under the Spanish tactician before suffering a knee injury which required corrective surgery a couple of months ago.
He looked certain to leave under Mikel’s predecessor Unai Emery, with the former head coach admitting that it’d have been “positive” for him and team-mate Mohamed Elneny to continue their careers somewhere else.
Shkodran hired a new Germany-based agent in January previous year, with his father working for the same sports management company, and is understood to be keen on a move to Serie A with his wife’s Albanian-Swiss family living close by in Switzerland.
Meanwhile, William Saliba will be hopeful of being blooded by Mikel as the Gunners face a congested fixture list with four matches in eight days – and just a two day gap between the Aston Villa and Molde matches next month.
Rob Holding is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury while news on David Luiz’s muscular injury that the Brazilian sustained during Sunday’s defeat to Leicester City is expected within the next 38 hours.
Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers are both able to fill in at centre back in the meantime, with Brazil center-back Gabriel playing in all but one of Arsenal’s European and Premier League games so far this season.