Arsene Wenger has confirmed midfielder Francis Coquelin is set for a £10million move to Valencia.
The French midfielder last played for the Arsenal on December 28 in the 3-2 win at Crystal Palace.
After Arsenal’s goalless draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, Wenger revealed the imminent departure of the French midfielder.
The 26-year-old, who has spent a decade in north London with the Gunners, is believed to have signed a four-and-a-half year deal after rejecting a move to West Ham.
He has featured only sparingly for Arsenal this season, starting just once in the Premier League in a heavy loss to Manchester City, while he was not in the squad to take on Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round defeat.
Asked after the match whether Coquelin was about to leave Arsenal, Wenger replied: “Yes.”
He added at the post-match press conference: “He goes to Valencia, he didn’t get enough games. I let him go.”
Wenger suggested rising star Ainsley Maitland-Niles will eventually help to fill the void left by Coquelin’s departure.
He added: “The best way to replace Coquelin is to get Aaron Ramsey Mesut Ozil back, that will help. After that we see.
“We have seen again that Maitland-Niles had an outstanding performance. He is a defensive midfielder, basically.
“What he is doing at the moment will help him develop as a player because he plays in a different position but at some stage I will play him in at defensive midfield.
“At the moment we have Monreal and Kolasinac injured and they will come back. So that is as well as opening for him in midfield.”