Mikel Arteta’s ‘very awkward’ Arsenal admission on trio ahead of summer transfer window

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gave a cryptic message after the Everton victory over his players who are out of contract.

Mikel Arteta has admitted that Arsenal have “very, very awkward” conversations with three of their out of contract stars ahead of the summer transfer window.

The Gunners ended the season with a dominant 5-1 win over Everton, against the backdrop of missing out on a Champions League spot to arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

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Once again, young gun Eddie Nketiah scored, who came into the team to replace club captain Alex Lacazette after he fell ill.

Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring in what could be his final game for Arsenal. Credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The England U21 international scored five goals in eight starts since his return to the starting side.

After the match, Arteta said: “When you see Eddie train, in the way he trains he doesn’t even need to play, you know that you have a player there that is going to help you and he’s done that.

“Look at his numbers with the amount of games that he’s played, it’s terrific.”

However the striker has given the Gunners a head ache, as he has so far not signed a new contract in search of more game time and will be able to leave this summer on a free.

It looks like his fellow forward Lacazette is likely to leave, with his contract also running out next month, and Mohamed Elneny will also become a free agent.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And Arteta was cryptic about the future of the trio after the Everton win but hinted that they would be leaving, saying he was going to have “very, very awkward” conversations.

The Basque said: “I will speak to the three players now or tomorrow and after that we need to start to move, but we have clear ideas of what we want to do.

“It’s been decided but it’s very difficult to communicate it.”

The manager hinted that the out-of-contract players wanted more game time

“What they deserve is to have a bit of what they had today,” he said.

Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah celebrates with Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli (back) after scoring his team’s second goal. Credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

“To do it earlier, one way or the other, with three situations like that is very, very awkward and it could affect the team so as a club we have to do the right thing in the right moment and sometimes combining those two is not easy at all.

“From my side and as a club we will do what we have to do and do what we think is the best thing for the club to move forward - and do it with the integrity and honesty that we’ve always done it.

“Those players know individually their situations, when it is going to be communicated, and that situation will happen face-to-face, the way they deserve.”

Nketiah has been linked to both West Ham and Crystal Palace, and Arsenal fans will be desperate for the Gunners to resign the young forward.