Sead Kolasinac is set to return to Arsenal after a difficult season as Schalke.
Kolasinac could not help Schalke, the club he re-joined on loan in January, dodge the drop this season as the German side suffered relegation from Bundesliga, finishing bottom with just 16 points from 34 games.
He made 27 appearances across all competitions and seemed to make an impact on his bosses at the club he knows well in Schalke, judging by recent comments from the club’s director of sport and communication Peter Knäbel, but due to the financial impact of relegation, Kolasinac is going to be sent back to the Emirates Stadium.
“This decision hurts us both in sport and human terms,” said Knäbel.
“In view of the current budget and squad structure – all the known and publicly discussed challenges – there was no alternative.
“We have to be so honest. In view of the short preparation and the early start of the season, we cannot afford a week-long hang-up game either, but have to make decisions for Schalke 04 now.
“That’s why we decided on this clear cut.”
That means Arsenal will miss out on a transfer fee in the immediate term for Kolasinac, and that fee was likely to be somewhere around his value of £7.2million, as per Transfermarkt, and it would have been pure profit given Arsenal signed him for free from Schalke in 2017.
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But Arsenal are still likely to receive some sort of fee for Kolasinac, even if it is a reduced one given he only has one year remaining on his contract.
The 27-year-old is expected to be sold by Arsenal this summer, and there is already rumours linking him with Napoli as he searches for his next club.
Kolasinac was not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans in the first half of this season, before his loan, and that is not likely to change ahead of next season.
And with a new contract not on the table, Arsenal are likely to look to sell him for some sort of fee to avoid losing him for free when his deal expires in the summer.