Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy has revealed that he wants to leave the club in January for opportunities elsewhere after being pushed out of the first team for the later parts of his Arsenal career.
Traditionally a right-back, he joined the club from Newcastle United in 2014 but the combination of Hector Bellerin's emergence and a series of injury problems saw him drop out of the first-team picture.
He had been expected to leave the club this summer, having seen his other attempts to force his way out during previous transfer windows blocked by Arsene Wenger. Such was the bleak nature of Debuchy's career at Arsenal, the club were prepared to allow him to leave for free 12 months before his contract was due to expire.
The Frenchman has since made a comeback, playing a part in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup, where he has impressed at centre-back and his preferred right-back position. However, his game time has been limited and at 32 the Frenchman would rather force a move away than be on the fringes.
On his prospects in January, Debuchy is open to opportunities across Europe, where he can play an active role and give his career a new lease of life. However, it remains to be seen if Wenger shares his thinking, having already spoken about how he expects the full-back to still have a role at the Emirates.
"I want to leave, to find a new challenge in the month of January. Being good will offer me opportunities. The Ligue 1? Why not. We will see the transfer window, if there has good opportunities, I'm open," says Debuchy in an interview with RMC Sport.
The Frenchman was very close to joining Nice in the summer but the move fell through. Debuchy had discussions with the manager regarding his situation and tests to prove his fitness but no communication was carried forward from their end.
"At the moment, I still do not know why it did not happen, I was very close to Nice, I met Julien Fournier, I also met the coach. In a hotel in the city ... we had a good discussion, I had tests to reassure them and everything was nil, I was expecting a return from them but, in the end, I never had a return, not even a little message, " he added.
"I was very disappointed with this attitude, especially from Mr. Fournier, but I moved on and it allowed me to play with Arsenal matches at a very high level."