Sources: Arsenal won't sell Matteo Guendouzi after meeting

Mikel Arteta has warned his Arsenal squad he only wants players ready to "jump on the boat" amid speculation Matteo Guendouzi is prepared to walk away from the club this summer.

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Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Gunners' FA Cup quarterfinal trip to Sheffield United, Arteta refused to deny reports in France that a meeting had taken place with Guendouzi at which the 21-year-old claimed he was open to leaving the club.

However, sources told ESPN that meeting did occur and that Arsenal don't want to sell Guendouzi and reiterated their faith in him. Nonetheless, the midfielder also stressed that he needs to play regularly to continue his progression and keeps his hopes alive for the Euros or the Olympics next summer with France.

The meeting was scheduled in response to Guendouzi's behaviour during last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Brighton, during which he is alleged to have berated the home side's players throughout and grabbed matchwinner Neal Maupay's throat after the full-time whistle.

Guendouzi escaped a Football Association charge for his conduct but was dropped from the matchday squad for Arsenal's 2-0 win at Southampton on Thursday night.

And when asked whether Guendouzi had indicated he was willing to leave, Arteta said: "As I said in the press conference [on Thursday night], whatever internal issues we have we will deal with them privately and I am never going to make any of that public."

Pushed on whether Guendouzi would be an Arsenal player next season, Arteta added: "All the players that are here, I am counting on them. If they want on the boat, they are more than welcome and that's always my mindset. I am here to help all of them, to improve individually and collectively and that is my job."

Guendouzi joined Arsenal from Lorient in July 2018 for €8 million after Unai Emery at the Emirates took charge and made 48 appearances in all competitions. However, since Arteta took over in December, the Frenchman has started just four of 13 matches and is thought to be concerned over how prominent he is in the head coach's future plans.

Arteta's comments could also be interpreted in the context of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's ongoing contract talks. The striker is about to enter the final year of his existing deal with negotiations continuing over an extension. Youngster Bukayo Saka is also in a similar situation, although talks are thought to be progressing well.