Shkodran Mustafi is attracting interest from various clubs, as Arsenal look to free up another non-homegrown spot before the end of the window.

Arsenal's Brazilian defender David Luiz (L) leaves the pitch after being substituted off for Arsenal's German defender Shkodran Mustafi during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 25, 2020. (Photo by WILL OLIVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (L) leaves the pitch after being substituted off for Arsenal’s German defender Shkodran Mustafi on October 25, 2020. (Photo by WILL OLIVER / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Simon Collings reports that Shkodran Mustafi is attracting interest from clubs in the January transfer window, including Lazio. With Arsenal bringing in Martin Odegaard and Mat Ryan, they’re going to need to offload someone, and Mustafi seems a prime target.

Mikel Arteta previously claimed Mustafi’s future was still with Arsenal for the time being. He said that with Sokratis and Saliba going, the club would need all the centre-backs they have left.

Despite those comments, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Arteta doesn’t plan to rely on Mustafi. The centre-back hasn’t made a squad appearance in 2021, falling behind Calum Chambers in the pecking order.

Chambers hasn’t played a minute since the start of January either, further emphasising just how far away from match action Mustafi is.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s signings have left them needing to offload a non-homegrown player to have room in their Europa League squad.

As we know, they had to leave Saliba, Martinelli (who was injured anyway), Özil, and Sokratis out of the Europa League squad. They let Özil and Sokratis go, and loaned Saliba, but that still left them one player overstocked.

Sead Kolasinac went on loan to free up a space for Martinelli. But then Mat Ryan joined, then Odegaard, putting them two over the limit again.

Even in the Premier League squad, where the slightly more flexible rules mean Arsenal can include Martinelli as an u21, they’re still one player over the limit.

The two obvious candidates to leave right now are Mustafi and Runar Alex Runarsson, with Arsenal reportedly willing to loan the goalkeeper.

If neither leave, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them follow in Sokratis/Özil’s footsteps by spending the next few months ineligible for matches.

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