Mikel Arteta  faces three months out... but the gunners captain will sign new deal....

Mikel Arteta will still sign a new 12-month contract with the gunners despite being ruled out for a further three months following an ankle operation.

The Spaniard’s injury blow came as it was confirmed that first-choice right back Mathieu Debuchy will also miss three months after shoulder surgery.

Arteta has not played since the Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund on November 26, when he sustained a calf injury. Now the Gunners have confirmed their captain has had a bony spur in his left ankle removed.

Arsene Wenger said: ‘Mikel has had surgery, which went well, and he is back with us at the training ground. He had limited mobility in his ankle and some persistent inflammation that had an impact on his calf. That meant surgery to give him the best chance to recover.’

Arteta, whose contract expires at the end of the season, agreed an extension before the injury and his lay-off will not affect his pending new deal. But his extended spell on the sidelines will reinforce Wenger’s determination to sign a new defensive midfielder this month.

Likewise, Debuchy’s injury means Arsenal will intensify their efforts to land a new defender. The France international dislocated his right shoulder in a collision with Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic on Sunday and surgery was required to ensure the joint is not prone to further injury.

Wenger said: ‘It’s very unfortunate for Mathieu, it’s unbelievable because he’s had two surgeries in the same season. He just came back, he played seven games and he’s out again. I count three months out for Mathieu because contact will be a problem for the shoulder.’

Kieran Gibbs could be available for Sunday’s clash against Manchester City after recovering from a heel injury. Danny Welbeck is still out with a thigh problem but has returned to light training.

Meanwhile, Nigeria appear to have won the battle to land the gunner's highly-rated striker Alex Iwobi. The 18-year-old, who captains Arsenal’s Under 21 side, has represented England at U16, U17 and U18 level but has accepted an offer to join the Nigeria squad this week.

He said: ‘I would have loved to play for England but Austin (Jay Jay) Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu have influenced my decision to play for Nigeria.’

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