Mikel Arteta says he has held ‘really positive’ conversations with Matteo Guendouzi and that the midfielder has been training well this week.
Having been unceremoniously axed for the final three months of last season, the Frenchman has been handed a clean slate on the eve of the new campaign despite speculation that he could leave the club before the transfer window closes on 6 October.
The Gunners are understood to have offered the 21-year-old to the likes of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain while the player is believed to have rejected the advances of other clubs, including Villarreal, Atalanta and Valencia.
“Matteo has been training like any other player in the squad,” said Arteta when asked about the player in his pre-Fulham press conference.
“It is a new season and we had some really positive conversations between both parties, now he’s back with the group, he is training really well.
“He went to France to play with the under-21s last week and played really well again, and he is here.”
It’s widely acknowledged that the Gunners need to sell players to fund new purchases this summer and that Guendouzi’s profile could represent low-hanging fruit in that respect. Young, under contract and clearly talented, there should, in theory, be a market for him, possibly even as a make-weight in a deal for someone on our shopping list.
Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on the matter. “I don’t know,” he said. “I am not going to discuss here what the things that happened internally. But a lot of the things they have been writing, I can tell you they are not true.”