Shkodran Mustafi has rejected Arsenal’s offer of a new contract and is prepared to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the campaign, according to

Mustafi, 28, was out of favour under Spaniard Unai Emery. However, he won back his place in the side under new boss Mikel Arteta. He started 15 out of 17 games before suffering a knee injury that required surgery in July.

The 20-cap Germany international returned to action last night in a 1-0 home defeat to Leicester. Despite a wealth of options at centre-half, Arteta was keen to extend the £35m signing’s stay in north London.

However, Mustafi rejected the Gunner’s offer of an extension and is set to depart the club after five years at the end of the 2020/21 season.

Shkodran Mustafi could move for family reasons

The player, who signed from Valencia in 2016, hired a different agent in January 2019.

Moreover, Mustafi is reportedly keen to move to Italy to be closer to his wife’s Swiss-Albanian family. They are based in Switzerland.

A move to Serie A could also revive his ailing international career – he hasn’t played for Germany since 2017.

Arsenal’s issues ahead of fixture congestion

With four matches in just eight days coming up for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta will hope as many players as possible are available.

But centre-backs Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and David Luiz are out injured, Calum Chambers is struggling for match fitness, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos was left out of the 25-man Premier League squad.

For now it seems new signing Gabriel, the potentially outgoing Mustafi and youngster William Saliba will have to cover at the back until more players return.

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