Several Arsenal first-team players will soon be out of contract which means manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu have some big decisions to make.
As many as three Arsenal senior players have signed new contracts in 2022 and supporters are hopeful that another trio will follow suit in the near future.
Mohamed Elneny was first at the end of last season as he signed a one-year extension, Eddie Nketiah was next as he ended all speculation regarding his future by committing his future to the club and most recently it was announced that Gabriel Magalhaes had signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners.
Now the question is will Bukayo Saka, William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli, in particular, do the same? Interestingly, they have all entered the final 19 months of their respective contracts at the Emirates Stadium, although Gunners247 understands that Arsenal hold the option to extend their deals by at least another year.
What will encourage fans is that the club are working hard to secure their futures. For example, The Athletic revealed last month that an official contract offer to Saliba has been made, Saka has dropped a huge hint with regards to committing his future to Arsenal by ‘personally investing’ in an executive box at the Emirates Stadium and Martinelli ‘just needs a pen’ to sign a new deal.
In an ideal world, Richard Garlick, whose main role entails negotiating contracts with both existing and new players, will tie down the aforementioned trio to new deals before the end of the season, otherwise, it could be a nervy summer transfer window for Gunners supporters.
With that said, they aren’t Arsenal’s only contract priorities right now. Reiss Nelson and Elneny are the two first-team players whose deals expire next June – although the club do have the option of extending the latter’s stay by a further 12 months and the former has been challenged to earn himself a new one.
“Yeah, 100%,” said Arteta when asked by football.london if Nelson still has a chance of signing a new deal. “That is why he is here, because we want to have that opportunity with him. He was willing to take that opportunity and again it’s down to him to show it now on the pitch.
“Out there [in training], he is showing it every day, how he is working, a lot of things that he has changed and improved in many things that in our opinion could have been better. Now he is on the right track, now he needs to perform.”
Prior to Ainsley Maitland-Niles joining Southampton on loan, it was reported that he signed a one-year extension with the Gunners, if that was the case then he joins Granit Xhaka, Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari, Nicolas Pepe, Alex Runarsson and Rob Holding as the senior players out of contract in June 2024, as per transfermarkt.
As things currently stand, only Xhaka is regarded as a key player for Arteta and as his contract has the option for a further year that would keep him at the club until the end of the 2024/2025 season, there’s an argument that he’s not near the top of the priority list at the moment.
In terms of the players out on loan, the fact that neither Mari, Runarsson, Maitland-Niles or Pepe appear to have long-term futures with Arsenal, means the quartet are effectively in the shop window this season to help their parent club command a decent transfer fee if sold next summer.
If the Gunners are to are to avoid the mistakes of the past of seeing the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil enter the final six months of their contracts before eventually leaving without commanding a transfer fee, then Garlick, Arteta and technical director Edu are going to be very busy over the next few months.
Whilst it would appear that Arteta and Edu have already taken steps to avoid being in a ‘weak position’ regarding Saliba, Saka and Martinelli, they must not ignore the other eight Arsenal first-team players out of contract in either 2023 or 2024 as there could be a chance to raise millions of pounds.
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