Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta did not rule out considering selling striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in January after he was stripped of the captaincy following a disciplinary breach.
In a statement, Arsenal said the 32-year-old would “no longer be club captain and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United” following a disciplinary breach last week.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, the striker returned late from a trip aboard which he had taken with permission of the club.
And when asked whether he would consider selling the Gabon international in the January transfer window, Arteta said: “What I can say right now is that we have made this decision which unfortunately is a really tough one.
“Obviously if I could choose I wouldn’t like to be sitting here talking about it but we had to do it and for now he’s not involved in the squad.
“It’s been a lot to digest and a really difficult decision to make so we need a bit of time.
“To make the decision that we made is because it was really hurting and it’s still like this. It needs a little bit of time to heal so for now he’s not involved in the squad.”
Sportsmail claims it is the third time that the forward, who is on £350,000 a week at the north London club, has had a disciplinary breach, with the latest controversy amplifying “pre-existing reservations from figures inside the club about Aubameyang’s position as skipper”.
Arteta benched the forward for the north London derby against Tottenham in March due to lateness and he was also reprimanded by Arsenal in February over a possible Covid-19 regulations breach.
“I don’t have much more to say. I think it’s a really clear statement from the club. It’s a decision we have made following the last incident we have had with the player and this is where we stand,” Arteta added.
“We did it with both the club having a personal conversation and myself face-to-face with the player. He had to accept the decision.”