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Arsenal to release Lichtsteiner after Edu’s appointment


Stephan Lichtsteiner PHOTO: ARSENAL

Arsenal will release Stephan Lichtsteiner this summer having decided not to take up the option of extending his contract for another 12 months.

The vastly experienced Switzerland international was the first of five signings made by Unai Emery upon succeeding Arsene Wenger last summer.

Lichtsteiner, it was hoped, would represent dependable back-up for Hector Bellerin and add leadership qualities to a dressing room severely lacking in that regard.


The 35-year-old has struggled to cope with the rigours of English football, however, having been deployed in a number of different positions and formations.

The former Juventus full-back has made just three Premier League starts since February, the most recent of which came in the 1-1 draw with Brighton on Sunday which, barring a miracle, cost Arsenal any hope of securing a top four place.

A decision to cut their losses on Lichtsteiner, according to Goal, comes as part of a major cost cutting exercise designed to trim the club’s bloated wage bill.

Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck will all depart the club for differing reasons and they could be joined on the way out by the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Skhodran Mustafi and Mohamad Elneny.

Arsenal also have a decision to make over the likes of Calum Chambers and Emiliano Martinez who have spent the majority of the season out on loan.

The Gunners, meanwhile, are close to confirming the return of their former midfield star Edu as the club’s technical director. The Brazilian is expected to fill the role Sven Mislintat was overlooked for, which contributed to his sudden departure in February.

Edu, currently general co-ordinator for the Brazil national side, is expected to officially start his new role after this summer’s Copa America but is already liaising with Arsenal over potential transfer targets and has played a role in securing a deal for teenager Gabriel Martinelli.

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