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Unai Emery named the German defender Shkodran Mustafi on the bench for the Premier League opener versus Newcastle on Sunday.
Preferring to start Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Calum Chambers, he sent a clear message to the centre-back, who had already been informed the club are content to get rid of him this summer transfer window.
With transfer windows around the continent mostly not closing until 2 September, the Gunners still have time to get Shkodran and his £90,000-a-week wages off the books.
The Serie A heavyweights, Paulo Fonseca’s AS Roma had reportedly been keen on signing Tottenham Hotspur’s Belgian star Toby Alderweireld or Liverpool and Croatia defender Dejan Lovren.
But with the incoming market now closed in England, Tottenham do not wish to sell as the club cannot replace and Shkodran is seen as another option to Dejan should that track run cold, according to the latest reports.
The Italians are also believed to be interested in the Gunners target, Daniele Rugani. Unai Emery’s side offered Juventus a deal that would have seen the central defender come to the British capital on a two-year loan and the star is said to be still available to purchase.
The 25-year-old star signed for Juventus from FC Empoli back in 2105 after being loaned to Bianconeri between 2012 and 2013.
He cost £4.5 million and was promptly sent back to Gli Azzurri on loan where he remained for the second half of that year before being brought to Turin.
Rugani has made 87 Bianconeri appearances in the four years since, two fewer than Mohamed Elneny has made for the Gunners despite the Egyptian midfielder moving six months later.