According to latest reports, Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle with starboy Bukayo Saka to keep him at Emirates stadium for the foreseeable future. The Gunners have been trying to tie down the English international to a long-term contract since March this year and it now seems that an extension announcement is imminent.
Saka’s contract situation has made him a subject of interest to Liverpool and Manchester City who need players in the right-wing position. He has enjoyed a strong start to the season, with the Gunners on top of the Premier League table while he has contributed five goals and six assists so far in all competitions (stats via transfermarkt).
The England international broke into the Gunners team four years ago and has racked up more than 140 appearances, contributing 28 goals and 35 assists (stats via transfermarkt). He is an extremely versatile player who can play as a number 10, a left wing-back, and on the right wing.
As reported by Football Insider, Bukayo Saka and Arsenal have come to an agreement in principle over a £200k-per-week contract on a five-year deal worth £52 million, which makes him on par with the club’s highest earners, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus.
The England international is supposedly set to put pen on paper on the new long-term deal which will run until the end of the 2026-27 season, as he has been convinced to extend his stay given the Gunners’ upturn in fortunes under Arteta. He was part of the team, contributing to winning the FA Cup and Community Shield under Arteta.
🎙️| @FabrizioRomano: “Bukayo Saka has had a contract proposal on the table since February. Arsenal are in direct talks with his agents and they feel the player wants to stay. Negotiations are progressing well.” #afc
— Arsenal Buzz (@ArsenalBuzzCom) November 7, 2022
The Gunners boss Mikel Arteta believes that Saka has become a better player since the Euro 2020, during which he missed a penalty in the final against Italy. The Arsenal forward has developed since then into one of the most exciting prospects in the Premier League and the club expects him to improve even further.
The Spanish manager seemed confident that he can convince the player to continue to be an integral part of his project. When asked to comment on the possibility of a new deal for the 21-year-old during a press conference in August, Arteta told the press:
“I am very confident that we as a club, Bukayo and his family and agent are all aligned. Now it’s about putting that on a piece of paper.”
“I would like that to get done because I don’t want players to be distracted in the season. But these things take time.”
Meanwhile, in an interview in August, Bukayo Saka was asked whether he shares the same vision as Arteta, the Arsenal academy graduate said immediately:
“Yes, I share his [Arteta’s] confidence. I feel like the manager’s always there for me. He knows when to speak to me, it’s not too much but it’s not too little and the different bits of advice he gives me are special and it makes such a difference,” Saka told the press.
“I really feel at home here. I really feel the love from my team-mates, my coaches and the fans as well. I really feel loved here.”
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The 21-year-old winger will be given a bumper contract which is nearly seven times his current salary, so the North London side should feel confident of tying down their academy star for at least another few years.
Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba are expected to be next in line for improved deals after Saka’s extension is taken care of, with Chelsea said to be keeping a close eye on the Brazilian forward.
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