Nicklas Bendtner looks certain to leave Arsenal at the end of the season when his current contract at the Emirates Stadium expires.
The Denmark international has suffered another frustrating campaign for the Gunners, having started just four times in all competitions. A knee injury ruled him out of the clash at Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, in which his team-mates exited the UEFA Champions League at the last 16 stage despite earning a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena.
Instead, Bendtner spent the evening in Copenhagen, and he was involved in an incident with a taxi driver which was soon reported back in the UK. Speaking ahead of the North London derby at Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, Arsene Wenger was asked if this latest flashpoint could result in the 26-year-old leaving the club in the summer.
“He is at the end of his contract at the end of the season,” replied the French coach on Friday. “Nobody gave him any permission to go to Copenhagen and he will be fined for that. But honestly, I don’t know really what happened because I haven’t spoken to him. The only thing that is for sure is he had nothing to do in Copenhagen.”
Bendtner has now been at Arsenal for almost a decade, having linked up with their youth system in the summer of 2004. He has in the past spoken of the huge self-belief he has, but in truth, he has fallen well short of his own opinion and has played over 30 league games for the Gunners in just one season. The 6ft 4in frontman has also had loans at Birmingham City, Sunderland and Juventus, but his next move is likely to be permanent.
Wenger, meanwhile, has spoken of his frustration at the number of injuries he has had to contend with this season. Mesut Ozil, the club record £42.5million signing, suffered a hamstring injury in Munich which will rule him out for around six weeks, whilst Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott all remain sidelined.
“I am concerned that this happens,” Wenger is quoted in The Guardian. “If you look at our overall injury list going into such a decisive part of the season, we have no Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, or Aaron Ramsey and we went to Bayern without (Kieran) Gibbs and (Nacho) Monreal. It’s very difficult to find an obvious reason why.”