Ainsley Maitland-Niles wants Mikel Arteta to give him “clarity” on his future so he can get his head around what comes next.
Maitland-Niles, 23, spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom as he was determined to get some game time but is due back at Arsenal next month.
England international Maitland-Niles still does not know whether Arsenal want to keep him, whether they are ready to sell him this summer and he admits it is difficult to make long term plans.
Maitland-Niles said: “I’ve got two years left on my contract so I’m due to be going back there.
“Obviously once I do go back, I need to speak to the manager and see where he sees me, see what ideas he has and we can move on from there.
“But I hope I can get some clarity for me, as in the player that he sees me, the role he sees me in and we can take it from there.
“We’ll see what happens but all this free time gets to your head sometimes, thinking when the club is linked with this person, or that person, it gets in your head and swallows you up sometimes.
“My head gets like that sometimes and it’s only when I’m running, training and working that my head gets a bit clearer because I know what I want for next season, I know where my head’s going to be regardless of what team I’m at, that’s not going to be a factor in my mind.
“The main thing that’s needed is clarity. You need clarity for both parties or however many parties are involved, you just need clarity. Once that stuff is worked out, everything else will follow from there.”
Maitland-Niles pushed to go out on loan in January after getting frustrated with a lack of game time at Arsenal and wanted to play to further his chances of making England’s Euros squad, having become a regular member in Gareth Southgate’s set-up last year.
The versatile academy product, part of England’s under-20s World Cup winning team in 2017, has not written off his chances at Arsenal despite not getting many opportunities in the first half of the season.
But Maitland-Niles is also open to a move if it means furthering his career ambitions to become a Premier League and also enhance his chances of playing for England.
He is not going on holiday but wants to stay at home, work with a personal trainer and be in good shape for whatever happens next.
He said: “There’s always a possibility but at the same time, you have to get your head around what you might not want to hear so you have to be prepared if that’s the case.
“Be a man about the situation, if it’s not going to work there then there’s always other clubs that will take you and I like to think that I’ve done enough in the Premier League in the last half of the season to have other clubs interested in me.
“If I was to get a phone call, if it was someone from Arsenal and they said they’d like a meeting tomorrow, am I in the country then it would be easier that way.
“They can tell me whether they’ve got plans to play me in the future or if they want to sell me. I’ve heard they want to make some space and some money so I’m not sure.
“My main priority is to go back, see what the manager has to say and take it from there. That’s always the first step and there’s many other steps after that so who knows?”