According to Football.London’s Chris Wheatley, Shkodran Mustafi has turned down a contract extension and intends to leave Arsenal on a free next summer.
Told he was surplus to requirements by Unai Emery, the German failed to secure a suitable move in the summer of 2019 and opted to see how things played out at the Emirates. Despite a long stint on the sidelines, biding his time worked in his favour.
With Emery out of the picture, Arteta made it a personal mission to rehabilitate Mustafi. To be fair, a couple of mistakes aside, the 28-year-old did improve and became a regular partner of David Luiz. Had he not suffered a serious hamstring injury, he’d have been a shoo-in to start the FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Last night’s return to action against Leicester reminded Arsenal fans of Mustafi’s defensive fallibilities so it’s unlikely there will be many tears shed if he does depart next summer. That said, a new deal would have protected his value ahead of a transfer window which will see David Luiz and Sokratis also leave for free.
Mustafi will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club from January. He’s been serially linked with a move to Turkey but a return to Italy or a first deal with a German club could be other options.