Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has denied claims that he's seeking a move away from the club next summer, although talks over a new contract are yet to get underway.
Mustafi's endured a fairly tumultuous career in north London thus far, with frighteningly frequent lapses in concentration often undermining and overshadowing impressive performances at the heart of the Gunners' defence.
The 28-year-old has played under four managers at the Emirates since his 2016 switch from Valencia, notching 143 appearances in the process.
However, the five-year deal which he signed upon his arrival will expire at the end of the season, and Mustafi, despite reports suggesting he'd already rejected an extension, has said it'd "mean a lot" should he stay at the Emirates beyond 2021.
“When I made a decision to sign for Arsenal it is because I respect this club. It is a huge club, that's why for me if I could stay at Arsenal, of course, it would mean a lot to me,” he said (via the Evening Standard).
The German, though, confirmed that no talks are yet to take place over a new contract: “We haven't been talking about anything so there isn't anything I can tell you guys."
After being thrust to the periphery during Unai Emery's ill-fated reign, Mikel Arteta has re-introduced the German to the fold. 14 of Mustafi's 15 Premier League appearances last term came under Arteta, and he earned his first minutes of 2020/21 against Leicester at the weekend after recovering from a lengthy knee injury.
“At the end of the day, it was important for me in the last three months to come back after the injury and to be ready to play and to help my team," Mustafi added.
“When you hopefully get a few games, you can maybe look at the future but at the moment for me it has been difficult because in the last months, I haven’t really been thinking about the end of my contract or what’s going on with the future because all I wanted was to be back as quick as possible."