Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remained tight-lipped when asked about Mattéo Guendouzi's future on Friday, with the Frenchman rumoured to be interested in leaving.
Guendouzi was ordered to attend an internal disciplinary meeting following his antagonistic role in a brawl in the recent 2-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion, and he was subsequently dropped for the victory over Southampton.
That prompted reports suggesting Arteta had grown frustrated with the 21-year-old's attitude and was open to offloading him - a feeling which is believed to be mutual.
Speaking in a press conference (via football.london), Arteta was asked to confirm or deny the rumours, and quizzed on whether Guendouzi would still be at the Emirates Stadium next season – and the Spaniard declined to be drawn on either point.
"As I said yesterday in the press conference, whatever internal [issues] we have we will deal with them privately. I'm never going to make any of that public," the boss explained.
"All the players that are here, I'm counting on them. If they want to jump on the boat they are more than welcome. That's always my mindset - I'm here to help all of them to improve individually and collectively, and that is my job."
Well, that's convincing...
Guendouzi has started just four Premier League matches under Arteta, and he has never found himself under this sort of pressure since his move to the Emirates in 2018.
He was a near-permanent starter under Unai Emery, but has not been afforded that luxury since Arteta's arrival, and those struggles to hold down a regular spot in the lineup are said to be behind his desire to walk away.
Should Guendouzi become available, it is believed that there would be no shortage of suitors. Inter, Manchester United and Juventus have all been linked, and there have even been rumours of interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona.