Arsene Wenger could recall William Gallas to the Arsenal squad to face Ukraine side Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday, but only if the defender apologises to his team-mates.
Wenger refused to reveal the reasons behind his decision to strip Gallas of the captaincy after his side crashed 3-0 to Manchester City at Eastlands on Saturday.
Gallas did not travel with the squad after making critical comments about his team-mates in midweek, when he questioned their fighting spirit.
If an apology is forthcoming the 31-year-old could even start the Group G home game against Kiev. If there is no apology it is likely Gallas has kicked his last ball for the Gunners and will be off-loaded in January.
In his post-match press conference on Saturday Wenger would not be drawn on the reason behind the French defender's absence.
However, the Arsenal boss told Radio 5 Live: ''Of course he has a future at the club. I will not speak about William Gallas in a post-match interview. He is a player who did not play, so what can he do? Nothing.
''Why should we not talk about (Cesc) Fabregas and the other nine players who are not here. We can go on until midnight and I will give the same answer to the same question.''
With Gallas absent and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia wearing the armband, City romped home thanks to goals from Stephen Ireland, Robinho and substitute Daniel Sturridge.
It was the Gunners' fifth league defeat of the season and their hopes of the title already look a distant dream.