The Gunners boss has insisted that Mustafi is not for sale in the January transfer window.
’s contract at Emirates will be expired in the summer and he is now able to sign a pre-contract with other clubs who are interested in a free deal in the summer. The 28-year-old has struggled to get game time in the current season after returning from his hamstring injury. However,
who has recently let William Saliba leave the club on a loan deal wants to keep the German defender in his squad.
“His future right now is here,
“I’m trying to help. We have Papa that probably is going to leave the club in this window, William that has already gone on loan, so we don’t have that many right now.
“Gabriel’s been out now for a period, David (Luiz) has been injured, so the situation is completely different to before.”
Asked about the player’s chances to get regular playing time, Arteta responded:
“Musti came back from a really difficult injury when he got injured at the end of last season,” he added.
“Up to that period I think he was doing really well, I think his performances were increasing and getting better and better.
“When he came back it was a moment when we had seven or eight centre-backs so he had to get his performance level up.
“I think physically he still needed some time, then he started to play some games in Europe which I think he did well as well.
“And now it’s about when do you make the next step to be a starter, and the reality is that we have to change for different reasons, use different personnel.
“He’s been very close in a few games but now we’ve found as well a partnership that is giving us clean sheets and sometimes when you do that it’s difficult to change, but he’s still in contention.”