Arsenal will not sell midfielder Matteo Guendouzi this summer after the club held a meeting with the player following the 2-1 defeat at Brighton last weekend.
The meeting was scheduled in response to Guendouzi’s behaviour during that defeat, in which he is alleged to have taunted the home side’s players about wages throughout and grabbed match-winner Neal Maupay’s throat after the full-time whistle.
Maupay, of course, had earlier forced Bernd Leno off on a stretcher after colliding with the German shot-stopper. And fortunately, Leno’s injury doesn’t appear to be as bad as first feared.
Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ FA Cup clash with Sheffield United on Sunday, Mikel Arteta refused to deny that a meeting had taken place with the Frenchman at which the 21-year-old claimed he was open to leaving the club.
ESPN, meanwhile, understands that although a meeting did take place, the club are believed to have reiterated their faith in the player and reinforced their stance that they don’t want to sell him.
However, Guendouzi did mention that he needs regular game time to aid his development and keep his hopes alive for a spot in the French national team ahead of next year’s Euros and Olympics.
The midfielder did not receive an FA ban for his antics on the south coast, but he still wasn’t included in Arteta’s squad for Arsenal’s successful trip to Southampton on Thursday evening – with many reports suggesting the Spanish boss had grown frustrated of Guendouzi and was willing to offload him.
After starring early on in the campaign under Unai Emery, Guendouzi’s performance levels have dwindled as the season’s progressed.
He’s started just four Premier League games under Arteta, with his desire to depart rumoured to be a factor in his reduced minutes. The Spaniard recently warned his Arsenal squad he only wants players ready to “jump on the boat” for the cause and he may not currently regard Guendouzi in that light.