Mikel Arteta admits that David Luiz may have played his final game for Arsenal.
The defender was sent off away to Manchester City last night after just 26 minutes on the pitch.
A pair of errors from the Brazilian led directly to City goals, with the second of those errors precipitating his dismissal.
The 33-year old is out of contract on July 1st, and Arsenal have until Tuesday to trigger an extension.
Arteta has previously said he wants Luiz to stay, but concedes other issues may prevent that from happening.
"We cannot forget the financial situation", the Gunners boss told a Zoom press conference on Thursday night.
"The way that COVID-19 has hit every club and the economy in general, it’s going to have an impact.
“What the club is doing at the moment is assessing the situation and trying to clarify a lot of uncertainties that we have in the future.
“We have to make big decisions and time-wise it is difficult to fit them in with our needs. We are trying our best and the club is trying their best.
“It is difficult sometimes because it puts the player or our sporting necessities in a difficult situation. Again, we have to adapt. It is what it is.
“That is why I wanted to protect David yesterday. That is why I did not start him. But it’s a funny game and after 20 minutes you need him, a player who has had a lot of uncertainty in the last few weeks.
“Don’t forget that we have accepted a pay cut, not only the players and the staff, to try to help the situation. I think it was an incredible gesture of unity and commitment from everybody working at the football club that I am very proud of.”
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 18, 2020
Arteta also gave an update on Mesut Ozil, who was omitted from the matchday squad of 20 at the Etihad for what the boss claimed were "tactical reasons".
"I have been very open with Mesut from day one. Since I joined I thought that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level he can do.
“He has played every game with me I think. So that it is. The moment I see that he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else.
“I think I have been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want. That’s it.
“A lot has happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the timing of every player that needs sometimes a little bit of time.
“It has been difficult preparation the last two months to get players ready and again I am the first one that wants Mesut at the best and I want to put him on the best when he can give his best."
Arteta also confirmed that Pablo Mari will miss the rest of the season.
The Spaniard suffered a serious ankle injury in last night’s defeat at the Etihad.