Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac is joining Schalke on loan for the rest of the season after Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said offloading players was the January transfer window “priority”.
Bosnia-Herzegovina left-back Kolasinac, 27, began his career with the German side before moving to Arsenal in 2017.
“We cannot sustain the numbers we have in certain positions,” Arteta had said earlier on Thursday.
“There are some players that are going to go on loan and going to leave.”
He added: “That is the priority. Then we will see if we have the right opportunity in the positions where we need some more help.”
Kolasanic has made 113 appearances for Arsenal and was part of last season’s FA Cup-winning squad.
This term, he has started only one Premier League match but has featured in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
Arsenal technical director Edu said: “Sead needs to be playing regularly, so we have decided together that a move back to Germany with Schalke will benefit him at this moment.”
Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi has also barely featured in the league in 2020-21, while German midfielder Mesut Ozil, whose deal expires in summer 2021, was left out of the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads this season.
Arsenal already have three first-team players out on loan – centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos is at Stuttgart, while midfielders Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi are at Atletico Madrid and Hertha Berlin respectively.
The Gunners are 13th in the Premier League after 16 games, following back-to-back victories over Brighton and Chelsea that ended a run of seven matches without a win.
They host 19th-placed West Bromwich Albion on 2 January (20:00 GMT kick-off).