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Emery: Xhaka may not play for Arsenal again

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Granit Xhaka in a red shirt: Xhaka has been absent for Arsenal's last three matches © Getty Xhaka has been absent for Arsenal's last three matches

Unai Emery admits Granit Xhaka may have played his last game for Arsenal and revealed conversations have taken place over whether he should be sold in January.

The midfielder has been absent for the last three matches after telling supporters to "f*** off" as he was jeered as he was substituted during a draw against Crystal Palace last month.

Video: Unai Emery: Xhaka stripped of Arsenal captaincy (Evening Standard)

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Emery, having later stripped Xhaka of the captaincy, confirmed he had taken the decision for him to sit out Saturday's game at Leicester after conversations between the pair ended with the 27-year-old declaring he was unavailable.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident against Palace, the club offered counselling to a player who Emery described as "devastated, sad and very down".

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 08, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) © 2019 The Arsenal Football Club Plc ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 08, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

He will now miss what could be a key game at Leicester as Emery stated he had taken the call to once again leave him out.

"Not yet," Emery replied when asked if Xhaka was ready to feature at the King Power Stadium.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 27, 2019  Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is substituted and shakes hands with manager Unai Emery      REUTERS/David Klein  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 27, 2019 Arsenal's Granit Xhaka is substituted and shakes hands with manager Unai Emery REUTERS/David Klein EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

"I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he's feeling now and how he is in his mind. He's working well, he's training well, but he said to me that he's not feeling good enough at the moment to play. We are going to wait.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Arsenal Training - Arsenal Training Centre, St Albans, Britain - November 5, 2019   Arsenal's Granit Xhaka during training   Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Europa League - Arsenal Training - Arsenal Training Centre, St Albans, Britain - November 5, 2019 Arsenal's Granit Xhaka during training Action Images via Reuters/Adam Holt

"It's my decision, 100 per cent. But first I need to speak to him because he's a person, our player and I want to know how he is feeling now. And then I decide."

Pushed on whether Xhaka may never play for Arsenal again, he added: "As a coach I have a responsibility for the team. We need a player like Granit Xhaka.

Gallery: Granit Xhaka and other players who have clashed with their own fans (ReadSport)

"But also, I don't know if he's going to play again. I don't know, because if he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time is giving us that solution.

"And then, if I decide he is in the group with us, if he is ready and 100 per cent in his mind with the decision to help us and to play with his quality helping us. Because we know we need that quality and that player."

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 01, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) © 2019 The Arsenal Football Club Plc ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 01, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Reports surfaced earlier in the week that the club may try and move Xhaka on in the winter transfer window to alleviate what could potentially become a long-term problem.

And Emery did little to quell the speculation when it was put to him whether the club had spoken about a possible move.

"We know we need that quality and that player," said Emery of Xhaka © Getty "We know we need that quality and that player," said Emery of Xhaka

"Yes, I asked that question," he said. "The club knows the player's decision at the moment and my decision or my idea about that situation and the circumstances.

"We are now a little weaker without him in that position because we have one less player in that position.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 27, 2019  Arsenal's Bukayo Saka comes on as a substitute to replace Granit Xhaka      REUTERS/David Klein  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Thomson Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 27, 2019 Arsenal's Bukayo Saka comes on as a substitute to replace Granit Xhaka REUTERS/David Klein EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

"I am not thinking about that because we are in November and we are going to play a lot of matches in November and December. We cannot change him in that two months.

"I need to be focused on the match tomorrow with the players we have, and then after the international break I am going to speak again with him.

"The club is speaking also with him and we are going to decide each moment how he is and how I am thinking for how we are to use him."

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