Arsenal could offload some of their deadwood to Spain this summer.
Arsenal are hoping for some big summer business this summer and headline additions, but for this to happen they also need to shift some of their unwanted players from their wage bill.
The Gunners are reported to have entered, or being close to, setting up a formal partnership agreement with Spanish club Real Betis after the success of sending Joel Campbell on loan there this season.
As well as wanting Campbell back, Betis are reported to want four Arsenal players, according to a report in Spain.
And there are some shock names on their shortlist.
It's fair to say they aren't setting their sights high, or even on the club's most talented youngsters.
The four players are Francis Coquelin, Emmanuel Frimpong, Marouane Chamakh and Johan Djourou.
Let's take this case by case:
Coquelin perhaps we were being a little harsh on; the young Frenchman is a talented player, and he has shown it in 2013 when he has had an opportunity in the first team. Unfortunately these have been few and far between and he said before the New Year he would look at a move away to play regular football. A loan may be ideal, as Arsenal won't lose his services for good and can assess his future hopefully when he returns with added maturity to his game.
Frimpong is a player who really does have Arsenal at heart, but whether he is good enough for the club is another matter. He has seemingly won over Fulham boss Martin Jol, who recently indicated he may be keen to keep him on next season. It is hard to believe Arsenal would stand in his way if an offer came in, but whether Spain is right for the tough tackling Ghanaian is another matter. We don't expect Frimpong to leave England.
Chamakh leaving Arsenal would be a dream scenario for fans, but it would have to be a permanent deal for it to be worthwhile, as his contract expires in 2014. His loan to West Ham has not been a success, but if Betis are interested in him then that is half the battle won. Leaving English football would probably be attractive to Chamakh too. Betis took City flop Santa Cruz in 2011/12, but Arsenal should bite their hand off by letting them have Chamakh for free.
Djourou may be a useful player for Betis, but he appears to have his heart set on staying in the Bundesliga with Hannover. Negotiations are already said to have begun on this, but the decision rests with Arsenal. If no fee is agreed, Djourou will have to consider his options and might realise Betis aren't a bad side.
How would you feel if Arsenal could offload this quartet to Betis? Who do you expect could go?
image: © cedric_ramirez