Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been urged to sell Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi this summer and bolster his squad with four new defenders.
Ozil reiterated his commitment to the Gunners last month by saying he is ‘very happy’ at the Emirates and determined to stay at the club for at least the next two years.
But the German continues to be linked with a departure, with Arsenal keen to cut their wage bill as they target a number of signings.
Fellow Germany international Mustafi could also leave north London this summer after enduring another poor season at Arsenal.
Gunners hero Charlie Nicholas believes Emery should sell both Ozil and Mustafi and says the Spanish manager needs to sign four new defenders during the summer transfer window.
Emery’s side conceded 51 goals throughout the Premier League campaign, with their defensive vulnerability ultimately costing them a top-four spot.
‘We need a whole new backline,’ Nicholas told Sky Sports.
‘I am disappointed that Petr Cech is retiring. I would have encouraged them to give him another year.
‘Bernd Leno has got mistakes in him and would have benefited from Cech giving him a helping hand.
‘We are looking for four defenders, so on top of the crazy situation of letting Aaron Ramsey go for nothing, it is not great. They need two centre-backs and two full-backs.
‘Hector Bellerin will come back and play right-back, as Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be pushed on potentially. Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac are good to have as squad players.
‘Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny are getting on a bit now. Shkodran Mustafi must be released in my opinion.
‘Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding are still to come back when they are fit.’
Nicholas added: ‘It comes down to who we can get rid of. If Emery doesn’t want Mesut Ozil then get rid.
‘Ozil is on £200,000 a week, but where will he move to? If he won’t play then Ozil won’t stay. He has got too big of a personality to stay and be on the bench.
‘If Arsenal can get him out with a transfer fee then I would. I would give the youngsters a couple more games next year and bring Reiss Nelson back, while looking at a big midfielder too.’
Arsenal face Chelsea in the Europa League final at the end of the month. Victory over the Blues would see the Gunners return to the Champions League next season.