Arsenal will not be able to force players whose contracts run out at the end of June to stay at the club past the end of month, even if the current season has not concluded, claims a leading PFA lawyer.

Alfie Matthews and Pablo Mari in training with Arsenal (Photo via Alfie Matthews on Instagram)
Alfie Matthews and Pablo Mari in training with Arsenal (Photo via Alfie Matthews on Instagram)

Thankfully, not that many players are out of contract with Arsenal in the summer and, while the club have been trying to get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new one, that was always going to depend on where Arsenal finished in the Premier League and if they return to the Champions League. Still, at least we know we have him for another year at least. Hopefully. Maybe. Depending on how they sort out this pandemic-induced mess.

With the Premier League suspended until at least 30 April and unlikely to be finished before contracts expire at the end of June, Arsenal will not be able to force Dani Ceballos to stay beyond the end of his loan deal.

Similarly, Pablo Mari is also only on loan, although there is believed to be an obligation to buy in there so that’s unlikely to be an issue, not that the club have been able to use the latter half of the season to see if he fits, which was no doubt the plan to begin with.

According to the PFA’s new lawyer Nick De Marcom, QC, “Legally, players cannot be forced (due to English employment law) to continue to play for the club. Nobody can force them; FIFA, the FA, the club or anybody.”

Daily Mail 11 April 2020

One option being touted is short-term contracts until the 19/20 season is concluded but that could well involve another fee to the loan clubs.

Given how badly the UK government has handled this entire crisis, the season will not conclude before the end of June and I would be very surprised if they are able to conclude it at all without blending it into 20/21.

Apart from loan deals, the only other Arsenal player out of contract at the end of June is Matt Macey.

Six players, however, will be out of contract next summer which seems odd given Raul Sanllehi’s insistence that player’s would not be allowed to get into the final year of their deals.

Arsenal players out of contract June 2021:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal FC acknowledges the fans after the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC at Emirates Stadium on February 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 27: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal FC acknowledges the fans after the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC at Emirates Stadium on February 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Sokratis

Arsenal's Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (L) vies with West Ham United's French striker Sebastien Haller (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020.
Arsenal’s Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (L) vies with West Ham United’s French striker Sebastien Haller (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020.
Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

David Luiz

David Luiz of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: David Luiz of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Shkodran Mustafi

Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal holds off Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal holds off Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 07, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)