• Gunners take on Portsmouth in FA Cup fifth round
• Arteta knows club must be in Europe’s top competition

Mikel Arteta admits a fourth consecutive season without Champions League football would significantly complicate Arsenal’s attempts to renew the contracts of key players, suggesting a summer of difficult decisions will lie ahead if they fall short once again.

Arsenal’s Europa League defeat against Olympiakos on Thursday removed their most viable route back to the top level, with their hopes now resting on bridging an eight-point gap to fourth place domestically.

Related: Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta warns top players ‘cracking’ under strain of schedule

Related: Arsenal reveal £27.1m loss as Champions League absence bites

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