Great Britain

Shkodran Mustafi rejects Arsenal contract offer and tells club he ‘intends to leave at end of season on free transfer’

SHKODRAN MUSTAFI has told Arsenal that he wants to leave the club at the end of the season, according to reports.

The Gunners have just over two months to tie the German down to a new deal before he can negotiate a pre-agreement with a club abroad.

And Football.London claim Mustafi, 28, wants to try his luck elsewhere.

Lazio and Napoli were among the clubs linked to the centre-back during the transfer window.

But Mustafi stayed put amid Calum Chambers' injury and uncertainty over William Saliba's readiness for first-team action.

With his wife's family living in Switzerland and a new German agency hired earlier in the year, Mustafi could be ready to return to the continent.

The defender's contract is up at the end of the campaign, although the Gunners are said to have offered him a new deal.

That has reportedly been rejected and the club will have to weigh up whether to agree a sale in January or risk losing him for free in the summer.

Mikel Arteta had used Mustafi prominently when coming in as Arsenal boss.

A hamstring injury ruled the player out of the final weeks of last season and he returned to the bench for Thursday's win at Rapid Vienna.

On Sunday night, Mustafi completed his comeback by coming off the bench for David Luiz against Leicester.

The Brazilian's new muscle injury may provide a chance for the World Cup winner to have a run in the team, with Rob Holding and Pablo Mari also out.

In July, Arteta praised Mustafi for his work ethic despite struggling to win fans over for much of his Arsenal career.

He told reporters: "Everyone can make mistakes, of course, but if they are willing to keep trying then they will get rewarded.

"Musti’s attitude, the way he is training, attention levels, the questions he is asking and how much he wants to help everybody has been really good since I joined."

On the contract situation, he added: "That’s something the club has to address but he knows my opinion on that."

Arsenal star Mustafi uses hand sanitiser as he does kick-ups at home during coronavirus quarantine

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