Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi is understood to have rejected an offer of a new contract in the summer, instead informing the Gunners that he plans to walk away for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
After being frozen out by former boss Unai Emery, it was Mikel Arteta who welcomed Mustafi back in from the cold, using the German as a regular part of his starting lineup before he went down with a knee injury back in July.
Arteta even brought Mustafi back into the team as soon as he was available, giving him just under 45 minutes in the recent 1-0 loss to Leicester City.
It seemed as though all roads were pointing to a contract extension for Mustafi, but according to football.london, the 28-year-old has actually snubbed the offer of fresh terms and has made it clear he intends to walk away.
It is said that Mustafi has his heart set on a move to Italy to be closer to his wife's family, who live in nearby Switzerland.
As it stands, Mustafi will be available to discuss a contract with an overseas side in January, and if he does have his heart set on a move away, Arsenal may look to sell him outright in the coming months to ensure they recover some money.
Arsenal are blessed with plenty of numbers at centre-back. Summer signing Gabriel Magalhães has joined David Luiz, Pablo Marí, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates Stadium, while young Frenchman William Saliba made his long-awaited move to England this summer as well.
While there would be no immediate rush to replace Mustafi, Arsenal's centre-back ranks could look vastly different by the time the 2021/22 season arrives.
Sokratis is also out of contract at the end of the season and is expected to leave, while doubts remain over the futures of both Holding and Chambers.