Arsenal ‘refusing to rule out’ sanctioning surprise January exit for £34m star | Football | Sport

Arsenal are reportedly not ‘ruling out’ a January loan exit for outcast midfielder Fabio Vieira. The Gunners might need to offload players in the winter window if they are to complete moves for big-money signings.

Vieira has struggled for consistency since his £34million move from Porto in the summer of 2022. The likes of Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka were preferred in midfield during the Portuguese star’s first season, while the arrival of Kai Havertz has stalled his progress this term.

A positive start to the season has subsequently subsided, with Vieira sent off for a poor tackle during Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Burnley last weekend. The 23-year-old could now temporarily depart the Emirates Stadium in January.

French outfit Marseille have been linked with the attacking midfielder. However, a move could reportedly hinge on a change in the boardroom.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Marseille’s new sporting director, Mehdi Benatia, could have the final decision on whether to sign Vieira. But at the same time, Arsenal have apparently not decided which players will leave in the winter window.

Vieira has started only two Premier League games this season, despite impressing off the bench in a 2-2 draw with Fulham and a 3-1 victory over Manchester United later that month. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted after the latter game that “something had changed” with Vieira, in a hint that the player could earn more game time.

“Every player has a chance to do that,” he admitted. “Today we decided to start with Kai, we knew that Fabio would have a big impact especially in the last few minutes, or final minutes if we needed something.

“Something has changed with Fabio, you notice with the crowd when he steps in he is different to how he was last year. He’s more mature, he’s more senior in the squad and his confidence in the squad is high so I’m really happy to have those options.”

Instead, the situation mirrored the final months of last season, with Vieira still struggling for regular minutes. Back in February, Arteta said the Portugal international was giving him a “selection headache” but started him on just two more occasions before the end of the campaign.

Vieira’s possible departure could make way for a new signing at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have been strongly linked with acquiring a new forward in the January window, with Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen both targeted.

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