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Mikel Arteta insists that Arsenal are not looking to sell Shkodran Mustafi during the January transfer window.
The Germany defender is out of contract for the summer and can leave for free at the end of the season.
MustafiThe 28-year-old has struggled for minutes this season as he was back in shape following a hamstring injury that excluded him from the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea on August 1.
Speaking in October, he said it would “mean a lot” to stay in Arsenal. There were reports that he had turned down a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.
This was despite not being a permanent fixture on Arteta’s side, with the Gunners boss having several central defense options.
But, having let William Saliba go on loan and admitting that Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be leaving in the next few days, Arteta wants to retain Mustafi for now.
“His future is here right now,” replied the Spaniard when asked about the situation.
“I’m trying to help. We have Dad who will probably be leaving the club in this window. William who has already loaned out, so we don’t have that many right now.
Gabriel has been out for a while, David (Luiz) is injured. So the situation is completely different from the previous one. “
Having been sidelined when the current campaign began, Mustafi was heavily deployed in cup competitions and has only played three substitute matches in the Premier League so far.
Holding and Mari shining for Gunners
With fellow advocates Rob Holding: who signed a new contract on Tuesday – and Pablo Mari Currently enjoying a successful partnership, Arteta admits that Mustafi’s chances have been slim, but says his chance may still come.
“Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season,” he added.
“Until that period, I think he was doing very well. I think his performances were increasing and improving more and more.
“When he came back it was a moment when we had seven or eight centers. So he had to raise his performance level.
“I think physically I still needed some time. Then he started to play some games in Europe, and I think he did well too.
“And now it’s about taking the next step to start. The reality is that we have to change for different reasons, use different personnel.
“He has been very united in some games, but now we have also found an association that is leaving us with a clean sheet. And sometimes when you do that, it’s hard to change, but he’s still in dispute. “
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