Arsenal leave duo out of pre-season tour of Malaysia
Two players are almost certain to leave Arsenal this summer, but it is not Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
Although Fabregas’ move to Barcelona seems likely and Nasri has four of five options open to him, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger seems more intent on selling Manuel Almunia and Nicklas Bendtner.
Both were among the players absent from the Arsenal squad that left for a pre-season tour of Malaysia over the weekend.
Other absentees included injury victims Fabregas, Emmanuel Eboue, Abou Diaby and Lukasz Fabianski, while youngsters Henri Lansbury and Ignasi Miquel were also left behind as they could be included in loan deals in the coming days.
Wenger is certainly likely to revitalise his squad over the summer, with only a work permit currently preventing Gervinho arriving from Lille.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have also been heavily linked with the likes of Chris Samba, Gary Cahill, Juan Manuel Mata, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Stewart Downing.
Almunia is almost certain to return to Spain this summer, with Malaga and Atletico Madrid both believed to be interested in the 35-year-old goalkeeper.
Bendtner was frustrated with his lack of starts last season and having to play out in wide areas when he was brought on from the substitute’s bench.
Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund are one club though to be interested in Bendtner and may not be put off by a £9m asking price.
Sporting Lisbon may also make a move for the Danish striker, while there is thought to be interest from clubs in Italy.
Arsenal’s betting odds are 8/1 to win the Premier League this season, but their biggest concern may be retaining their spot in the Champions League places.
It is 4/7 in the Premier League odds that Arsenal finish in the top four this season.