Unai Emery has admitted that Granit Xhaka may never play for Arsenal again and that the possibility of selling the midfielder in January has been discussed.
The Switzerland international has not featured for the Gunners since telling the Emirates crowd to ‘f**k off ’ while he was being booed from the field having been substituted against Crystal Palace on October 27.
And Xhaka – who was stripped of the captaincy following the incident – will not be part of the squad that travels to Leicester City on Saturday afternoon, with Emery deciding to leave him out after Xhaka made it clear he still wasn’t ready to play .
The 27-year-old will link up with Switzerland over the international break, but Emery does not yet know if he will be part of his plans when he returns to England ahead of Arsenal’s game with Southampton later this month.
“I don’t know if he’s going to play again,” said Arsenal’s head coach. “If he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time gives us that solution.
“If I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100 per cent in his mind to help us play with his quality, we know we need that quality and that player.
“It’s important now to stay with Granit. We are going to continue but the club knows how he is thinking and also how I am thinking about that circumstance.”
Emery’s frustrations over the Xhaka situation have now been exasperated by an injury to Dani Ceballos – with the Spanish midfielder set for three weeks on the sidelines due to the hamstring problem he suffered against Vitoria on Thursday night.