Mikel Arteta wants to streamline his Arsenal squad and is plotting a massive clear-out with as many as 11 players on the chopping block, including Folarin Balogun.
The Gunners have recovered from a dire run of form to win their last three Premier League matches on the spin and are now just six points off fourth spot.
But Arteta still feels his squad is light in a number of key areas, with a new creative playmaker his top priority, and is keen to bring in new recruits – though Arsenal must sell before they can buy.
According to The Independent, Arteta wants up to eight players gone over the January and summer transfer windows and there are 11 players in his squad he regards as ‘dispensable’.
There are some rather obvious names among them, notably Mesut Ozil – who still intends to see out the final six months of his contract – as well as Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac, both of whom could be sold this month.
Despite being brought in from the cold by Arteta, Arsenal will also listen to offers for Mohamed Elneny, while centre-backs Callum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi do not have a future at the club.
Balogun’s deal with the Gunners expires in the summer and they have still yet to find a breakthrough in talks over a new deal, with the January window providing Arsenal with their last opportunity to cash in.
The 19-year-old is attracting plenty of interest, with Swansea City keen to take him to the Championship, while he is free to talk to foreign clubs about a pre-contract agreement.
Arsenal are also open to selling Konstantinos Mavropanos and Lucas Torreira, who have spent the first half of the season on loan.
Arteta is keen to drastically change the makeup and mentality of the Arsenal dressing room and wants to clear the decks, while he is also aware that the club need to raise funds and trim the wage bill if they want to bring in new players over the coming windows.