Matteo Guendouzi has told the Arsenal board that he would be open to leaving the club. French newspaper L’Equipe (translated and summarized by Get Football News France) reported today that the midfielder recently met with the top brass to discuss the Neil Maupay incident and that the discussion turned to the Frenchman’s future at the club. 

Guendouzi has attracted interest from Inter Milan, Juventus, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. Arsenal are not necessarily opposed to selling under the right circumstances, but they are looking for at least €40M in return.

So where has this all come from? It seems to stem from a lack of playing time under Mikel Artetaas compared to under Unai Emery. Guendouzi started the first 13 Premier League matches of the season but has only started 4 of 12 PL matches since the coaching change.

The relationship between Arteta and Guendouzi isn’t a bad one, but it definitely isn’t a great one, either. Remember, Guendouzi was dropped from the squad back in February for a training ground altercation with a teammate and was disciplined for an incident during the training camp in Dubai. I dismissed them as a manifestation of his youthful exuberance and much ado about nothing at the time. With Guendouzi again dropped from the matchday squad for Southamptonseemingly because of the Maupay incident, I can’t write it off quite as easily.

I don’t like that Guendouzi has gone with “play me or I’ll leave” as a tactic, but I think it’s just that — a tactic. To me, this reads more as “I want playing time” rather than “I want out” from him. At least for now.