Report: Arsenal to release Mathieu Flamini, replace him with big name

Mathieu Flamini challenging Steven N'Zonzi

Mathieu Flamini's penalty concession against Barcelona appears to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

 

Their side's Champions League hopes may be hanging by a thread, but Arsenal supporters might be tempted to draw a silver lining from Tuesday's 2-0 defeat by Barcelona.

According to the Daily Mail, midfielder Mathieu Flamini is set to leave North London this summer after being informed by the club that his contract would not be extended.

The report comes less than 48 hours after the Frenchman conceded a penalty within 47 seconds of being introduced at the Emirates, with Lionel Messi converting to give the Gunners a monumental task ahead of their last-16 second leg at Camp Nou next month.

Manager Arsene Wenger has been forced to call on the 31-year-old regularly in recent months following injuries to Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta, but Flamini, who had hoped for a one-year extension, will reportedly leave the club for a second time this summer.

The tough-tackling Frenchman was already in the fans' bad books after letting his contract expire to join AC Milan in 2008, before re-signing for the North Londoners in 2013.

According to the report, at least one 'big-name midfielder' will be drafted in during the summer transfer window.

The writing was perhaps on the wall for Flamini a number of weeks before that farcical penalty concession, following Mohamed Elneny's arrival from Basel in January.

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