Mathieu Flamini is set to leave the Emirates next summer – despite being Arsenal’s lucky charm.
France midfielder Flamini, 31, has never finished on the losing side in the 52 Premier League games he has played at the Emirates, winning 36 of them.
But Flamini, who is on £80,000 a week, is set to go this summer when his current deal expires while Mikel Arteta and fellow veteran Tomas Rosicky are also out of contract.
It leaves Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger desperate to strengthen his midfield in January – and again in the summer.
Wenger’s No1 midfield target is Southampton’s Victor Wanyama but their Premier League rivals are unlikely to consider selling him until the summer and will demand £20m.
But Wenger is likely to spend in January as he is targeting a midfielder in the price bracket of between £5m and £10m.
Wenger will try and do a deal for a player who can be part of the squad next season even when Francis Coquelin returns from injury but can offer something different even if they bring in Wanyama.
Mirror Sport revealed recently that Arsenal have been looking at Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny while Paris Saint Germain youngster Adrien Rabiot could also be available.
Dynamo Moscow striker Aleksandr Kokorin is a potential cut-price signing while Celta Vigo striker Nolito is another they have been watching for the summer.