Shkodran Mustafi says he won’t think about his contract situation at Arsenal until football returns even though his future at the club is hanging in the balance.
The German is due to enter the final year of his current deal in June but with football on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and the sport’s governing bodies frantically trying to understand the legal implications of an extended season, he admits it’s not exactly a high priority right now.
Mustafi was told last summer that he was free to leave the club but he’s enjoyed something of a renaissance since Christmas with Mikel Arteta returning him to the starting lineup.
In an interview with Sky Germany this week, he said: “We are in a situation where everyone is worried about the current situation and not so much about their personal future.
“It is difficult to think about my personal future. None of us know what will happen next and when we can play again.
“So, once we have overcome this difficult time and are back on the pitch, I can think about questions like that. At the moment, I don’t think about it.
“Also the club has more important stuff to deal with right now than my future.”
The Premier League is currently on hold until 30 April but it’s expected that will be pushed back even further.
The Premier League, EFL and Players’ Football Association met yesterday before releasing a statement that stressed ‘difficult decisions’ will need to be made ‘to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football.’
The Times (£) says it’s only a matter of time before Premier League clubs ask players to take pay cuts.
Players at German sides Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have already accepted cuts, while the Financial Times reports that at least ten of the world’s 12 highest-earning clubs in Europe will push their stars to do the same.
They also relay a claim by consultancy firm KPMG that predicts Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues stand to lose €4 billion if the current competitions are not completed. That takes into account cash lost from matchday, broadcasting and sponsorship revenue.
Taking that figure into account, you can start to understand why the biggest clubs are so desperate for the 2020/21 campaign to be completed.
Manchester United, knowing full well that bitter rivals Liverpool will win their first top flight title in 30 years, released a statement last night clarifying their stance.
“The club fully supports the collective intent to complete the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA club competitions,” they wrote.
They also went public on contingency plans for rebating season ticket holders should the rest of the season be played behind closed doors. We expect other clubs, including Arsenal, will do the same soon.