Cash-strapped Arsenal ready to offer hot-headed Matteo Guendouzi to clubs in swap deal as they look to offload midfielder and improve their squad
- Matteo Guendouzi has not played first-team football for Arsenal in two weeks
- The French midfielder has not been in the Gunners squad for the last two games
- Mikel Arteta praised the player on Tuesday but says he is still developing
- Now the Gunners are tempted to use Guendouzi in potential summer swap deals
- German midfielder Mesut Ozil is another who has been frozen out of games
Arsenal have explored using French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a makeweight in their summer transfer business.
Sportsmail understands club chiefs have put feelers out to see what interest there is in Guendouzi with a view to landing players they want in return.
Arsenal will have a limited budget for the next transfer window and they are actively assessing the market for potential swap deals, as well as shrewd buys and free transfers.
Arsenal are tempted to use midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a makeweight in summer transfers
Guendouzi (middle) has not played for the club since a fiery incident at Brighton on June 20
Guendouzi is one player they would be prepared to use as a makeweight in any swaps.
He was wanted by a number of clubs in Europe before joining Arsenal from Lorient in 2018, and the Gunners hope that interest remains.
The 21-year-old Frenchman was left out of the squad for Arsenal’s last two games, the victories over Southampton and Sheffield United, after becoming embroiled in controversy against Brighton.
Dropping Guendouzi was an indication of Mikel Arteta’s displeasure with the youngster, leading to doubts over his future.
Guendouzi escaped an FA charge despite grabbing Brighton striker Neal Maupay around the neck.
He was also accused of lacking humility after taunting Brighton players for earning less than Arsenal’s in the 2-1 loss at the Amex Stadium.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (right) says Guendouzi (left) is a good player but is still developing
Arteta also left Guendouzi out of his squad for Arsenal’s home win over Newcastle in February, having been unimpressed by the midfielder’s attitude during the club’s winter trip to Dubai.
Asked if Guendouzi had made the most of his opportunities since arriving at Arsenal, Arteta said: ‘When Arsenal picked him to come here, it was because they could see the potential and the qualities that Matteo has.
‘He is a really young player, still developing. When you are developing, the curve normally is not so straightforward.
‘You have to hit some bumps and adapt to it and learn in the process about things you have done right and things you have done wrong, like any other player.’
Another star missing from recent Arsenal squads has been Mesut Ozil.
Arteta also revealed German midfielder Mesut Ozil (above) could feature this season
He sat out the Sheffield United FA Cup tie on Sunday with a back problem and also missed their first game since the return at Manchester City for tactical reasons.
In between, Ozil was an unused substitute against Brighton and Southampton.
Asked if Ozil and Guendouzi still have a part to play in the remaining games, Arteta said: ‘Everybody I have in the squad, my job is to get the maximum out of them, to try to help and support them. And if they are willing, everybody is welcome.
‘I always hope that the players want to give their best.
The German midfielder has not played a single minute of football for Arsenal post-lockdown
‘I want all my players at their best and to be able to pick them to help the squad as much as possible. That’s the only intention I have.’
Whenever Ozil is absent from Arsenal’s side, whether due to form or a niggling injury, the wisdom of handing him a club-high £350,000-a-week deal in January 2018 is questioned.
Arteta added: ‘Never (do his wages impact team selection). That is an agreement the player and club were happy to do and I never question that.
‘I think players are paid whatever they deserve because there are two parties here and that should never be something I have to judge.’
Arsenal will pay tribute to supporters who lost their lives to Covid-19 against Norwich tonight.
It is the club’s first home game since the restart and they will display the names of 47 fans on the stadium screens in the 47th minute and their faces on the programme.
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