Arsenal's Ospina next through revolving door?

David Ospina is the latest in a long line of Arsenal players whose futures at the club are uncertain.
David Ospina is the latest in a long line of Arsenal players whose futures at the club are uncertain.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Arsenal are facing another battle to keep hold of a first-team player with David Ospina eager to leave the Emirates at the end of the season.

The Colombia goalkeeper is expected to start Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against fifth-tier Lincoln City, but has not made a single Premier League appearance all season and is unhappy with his status as a Cup specialist.

Ospina is the latest in a long line of Arsenal players whose futures at the club are uncertain, a situation exacerbated by the failure to secure many of them on extended contracts.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have yet to agree new contracts as they approach the final year of their deals despite opening negotiations with the club 18 months ago.

Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs will also be free agents next summer but have not been offered new deals.

Manager Arsene Wenger's contract expires at the end of this season and on Monday, he reiterated his reluctance to be rushed into signing the two-year deal that he has been offered.

Sanchez seems certain to leave this summer and Arsenal will struggle to repel anticipated offers from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain for a player in the last year of his contract.

The Chilean added to the speculation surrounding his future on Monday by posting a proverb on Instagram that appeared to be a defence of the competitive spirit that has upset some of his team-mates.

"The true warrior fights not because he hates the ones in front of him, but because he loves those behind him," Sanchez wrote.

Ospina's contract runs until 2019 but his disenchantment can be traced back to the decision to sign Petr Cech from Chelsea in the summer of 2015, which he felt was a betrayal of promises made to him.

The 28-year-old had signed from Nice 12 months earlier, having been told that he was being recruited to challenge Wojciech Szczesny, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with Roma.

Cech's arrival from Chelsea shattered Ospina's hopes and he has made just four Premier League appearances in the past two seasons.

Arsenal have already begun the process of looking for a long-term replacement for Cech, who will be 35 in May, and losing the reliable Ospina would give them an added headache, as they are reluctant to bring back Szczesny.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Arsenal's Ospina next through revolving door?'. Print Edition | Subscribe