Arsenal boss Arteta drawn on Guendouzi situation amid claims midfielder ‘has expressed desire to leave’/Man United linked

Matteo Guendouzi

Mikel Arteta has this evening spoken out on the situation of Matteo Guendouzi, amid surprise speculation that the Arsenal youngster is eyeing a departure from the club.

Guendouzi’s week to forget

The media coverage surrounding Guendouzi has been rampant over the course of the last week.

This comes after the 21-year-old was omitted from the Arsenal squad to take on Southampton yesterday, having been involved in an ugly incident following the Gunners’ defeat to Brighton last weekend.

Guendouzi was caught by cameras grabbing the throat of Seagulls hitman Neal Maupay, after a challenge on the part of his fellow countryman left Bernd Leno with a nasty injury.

The all-action midfielder was also subsequently accused of taunting Brighton’s stars over the disparity between the earnings of the club’s two squads.

As such, when word was forthcoming that Guendouzi had been completely left out of Arsenal’s matchday squad versus Southampton, speculation inevitably began to circulate that he had been disciplined by the club.

Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, did little to play down such claims prior to kick-off, when the Gunners boss alluded to ‘internal issues’.

Arsenal exit?

Arteta, though, could never have predicted the media frenzy that would result from his explanation for Guendouzi’s absence at St. Mary’s.

The last 24 hours have seen reports rampant in France that Arsenal’s all-action young midfielder is now eyeing a move away from the club.

According to L’Equipe, during a disciplinary meeting on the back of his actions last weekend, Guendouzi informed Mikel Arteta of his ‘wish to leave’ the Emirates.

A whole host of potential landing spots for the Frenchman have also been touted, with Inter Milan said to be at the front of the queue as things stand.

Manchester United and Juventus, though, have both also reportedly ‘expressed an interest’ in his signature.

Matteo Guendouzi

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal celebrates his team’s victory after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

‘More than welcome’

And, if the latest comments on the part of Mikel Arteta are anything to go by, then Guendouzi’s future at Arsenal does appear to be somewhat murky at present.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Gunners’ meeting with Sheffield United on Sunday, the Spanish tactician was again drawn on the situation of his side’s young midfielder, with an emphasis on whether he expects Guendouzi to still be a part of his squad next season.

And, though Arteta was keen to assure that he feels he can count on all of the players at his disposal, the Arsenal boss stopped short of providing any guarantees over Guendouzi’s future:

‘All the players that are here, I am counting on them. If they want to jump on the boat, they are more than welcome and that’s always my mindset.’

‘I am here to help all of them to improve individually and collectively and that is my job.’

Arteta continued:

‘As I said in the press conference [after Southampton], whatever internal issues we have we will deal with them privately and I am never going to make any of that public.’

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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