Soccer-Fate of Arsenal's out-of-contract players already decided - Arteta

Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Everton - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - May 22, 2022 Everton manager Frank Lampard and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta embrace after the match REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said that decisions over the future of Mohamed Elneny, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette have already been made by the club.

The trio, who are out of contract at the end of the season, all featured in Arsenal's 5-1 win over Everton on Sunday.

Lacazette looks likely to depart after the French forward said he was in talks with a number of clubs, while photos on social media appeared to show Elneny posing for pictures with a pen in his hand and a piece of paper after Sunday's match.

Nketiah's future at the club is also up in the air, but the striker has been in good form in recent weeks, scoring against Everton. He also bagged two goals in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Chelsea last month.

"When you see Eddie training the way he trains, he doesn't even need to play," Arteta told reporters.

"You know you have a player there who is going to help you and he's done that -- look at his numbers with the amount of games he's played. It's terrific.

"I will speak to the three players now or tomorrow and after that we need to start to move but we have clear ideas of what we want to do.

"(Their future) has been decided but it's very difficult to communicate it. To do it earlier, one way or the other, with three situations like that is very, very awkward ..."

Arteta added that the club would do their best to deal with the situation with integrity.

"From my side and as a club we will do what we have to do and do what we think is the best thing for the club to move forward," Arteta said. "(We will) do it with the integrity and honesty that we've always done it."

Despite their win over Everton, Arsenal missed out on Champions League football after back-to-back defeats by Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United handed the initiative to Spurs, who hammered Norwich City 5-0 to secure fourth place.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman)

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