Shkodran Mustafi is among the players Unai Emery is looking to kick out of the door at the Emirates this summer, after being told that he will be allowed to reinvest money from sales into his squad.
Emery’s base budget is unlikely to exceed £40-45m, but the Daily Mail report that club chiefs have told the Spaniard that he can augment the money he has to spend by selling on unwanted assets.
Mustafi is certainly one of those – unwanted by fans, even if the manager has kept faith with him in the first team – after a spell of dreadful defending starting from his debut against Southampton at the Emirates and continuing to last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.
The departure of Aaron Ramsey to Juventus on a free transfer has already been confirmed, but one of the club’s deep bank of mediocre midfielders could follow him out the door for a middling fee; as could one of the club’s three right-backs (most likely Carl Jenkinson).
The departures of Ramsey and retirement of Petr Cech will free up some space from the club’s wage bill, which the sales of Mesut Özil (£350,000 a week) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£180,000 a week) would increase. Obviously.
Danny Welbeck’s £80,000 a week will also come off the wage bill, as will whatever the club are paying for the questionable ‘services’ of Denis Suarez as part of his loan move from Barcelona.
Of course, whichever parts of the squad see players leave will need reinforcing with new and upgraded models – a job for Arsenal’s sporting director. Who doesn’t exist.