Arsenal in talks to cancel third player’s contract as Mikel Arteta changes his mind

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Arsenal are in talks with Shkodran Mustafi over ending the player’s contract early, according to reports. Mustafi has fallen down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta following the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes last summer. The German is out of contract at the end of the season but could be allowed to leave as early as this month.

Mustafi has not started a Premier League match this season and has not been part of a match day squad since the win at Brighton on December 29.

The 28-year-old has faced strong criticism from Arsenal supporters for a large part of his four-and-a-half years at the club.

The £35million signing from Valencia appeared to hit out at the club with his farewell Tweet to Mesut Ozil last week.

Mustafi’s tweet read: “Bro, you have been the most unselfish player on and off the pitch, I have ever shared the dressing room with. You will be always remembered as the #AssistKing. Unfortunately we as a team haven’t been able to assist you when you needed us the most. All the best.”

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And it now appears Mustafi has also played his last game for the club.

Football.London say talks are ongoing between both parties to end the defender’s contract at the Emirates.

He could become the third player to leave Arsenal in that way this month.

Ozil parted company in order to complete his move to Fenerbahce and Sokratis Papastathopoulos also saw his contract terminated.

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Barcelona were linked with a shock move for Mustafi earlier this season.

However, Serie A club Lazio are named as his most likely destination.

It appears Arteta has changed his mind on the future of Mustafi.

Earlier this month, the Spanish manager stated that Mustafi would be staying at the club.

“His future right now is here,” Arteta said.

“I’m trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club in this window.

“William [Saliba] has already gone on loan, so we don’t have many right now.

“Gabriel’s been out for a period, David (Luiz) has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”

However, David Luiz has recently returned from injury and Gabriel is back after recovering from coronavirus.

Pablo Mari should also return soon from a calf problem.

Arteta also has Calum Chambers available, as well as regular starter Rob Holding, to make it five centre-backs in the squad if Mustafi was to leave.

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