Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has indicated that he would be interested in continuing his development elsewhere, having fallen out of favour with head coach Mikel Arteta.
Despite having been a regular starter under former boss Unai Emery, Guendouzi has been in and out of the team since Arteta was appointed. His future at the club has also come under increasing scrutiny since his unsavoury behaviour during last weekend’s defeat to Brighton.
Guendouzi was accused of taunting Brighton players over their smaller salaries and later grabbed Seagulls goalscorer Neal Maupay by the neck when Arsenal had lost.
It was reported soon afterwards that Arteta is open to letting Guendouzi go this summer having been left unimpressed by his behaviour and attitude, which was first flagged up in training.
Guendouzi was also dropped from the squad completely for Arsenal’s much-needed win over Southampton on Thursday night, although Arteta denied it was related to the Brighton incident.
“No. Whatever issue we have internally, I will resolve it in a private way. I explained that I cannot explain and that's it,” he said when questioned on the player’s absence.
But Guendouzi’s future is up in the air regardless and L’Equipe reports that it was an issue discussed at an internal disciplinary meeting this week, during which the player is said to have made it known that he wouldn’t be against leaving ahead of next season.
Arteta has tried to implement a culture reset at Arsenal over the last few months and Guendouzi had already found himself sidelined – the 21-year-old has only started four of the new manager’s 13 Premier League games in charge and is said to believe Arteta doesn’t have enough faith in him.
It is suggested that Guendouzi sees what is happening as a step backwards in his development and is ultimately aiming for a place in France’s squad for next summer’s delayed Euro 2020.
L’Equipe goes on to highlight that Guendouzi has plenty of suitors already, claiming Inter boss Antonio Conte is a big fan. Juventus and Manchester United are alleged to have expressed interest, while even Real Madrid and Barcelona are mentioned.
Unsurprisingly, given what has already been reported, Arsenal are not against selling and are said to have set a minimum price tag of €40m (£36m) for a possible transfer. That could help boost the club’s precarious current finances, which have been hurt by the coronavirus crisis.
A separate report originating from French outlet TF1 has additionally claimed that Guendouzi’s camp is already in early informal contact with Inter, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.