GOOD NEWS: £80m star has ‘spoken to Arteta’ over signing deal at the Emirates
Arsenal star William Saliba has admitted to Mikel Arteta he ‘would like to stay’ at the Emirates Stadium and ‘negotiations are still ongoing’ over a new contract, Football.London journalist Kaya Kaynak has told GiveMeSport.
Having signed Leandro Trossard, Jakub Kiwior and Jorginho during the winter transfer window, Gunners boss Arteta and sporting director Edu have set their sights on rewarding key men with fresh terms.
According to respected Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have made tying Saliba down to a new contract their next priority after reaching an agreement with Bukayo Saka.
The transfer guru suggests the central defender, who is valued at £80million by the CIES Football Observatory, is keen to remain with the Premier League title chasers and talks have not reached the final stages yet.
Arsenal triggered a 12-month extension clause written into Saliba’s contract shortly before the turn of the year, giving themselves more time to hold negotiations as his agreement was initially due to expire this summer.
But there is still uncertainty over the France international’s long-term future as his deal, which is worth £40,000-per-week, only runs until the summer of 2024.
Romano recently told GiveMeSport that there is a possibility that Saliba will put pen-to-paper and agree fresh terms this month.
What has Kaya Kaynak said about Saliba?
While Arsenal have reached a verbal agreement to extend Saka’s contract, Kaynak understands that discussions over a new deal for Saliba are still taking place.
Football.London’s chief Gunners reporter is aware that Arteta is desperate for the 21-year-old, who is keen to sign on the dotted line, to remain on board.
Kaynak told GiveMeSport: “That one is maybe not as progressed as Saka’s contract. Those negotiations are still ongoing.
“Arsenal obviously triggered the option to extend his contract by a further year, so his contract, as things stand, expires in 2024.
“Mikel Arteta has been very clear that he wants to keep Saliba. Apparently, Saliba has spoken to him and said that he would like to stay.”
Does Saliba deserve a new contract?
WhoScored statistics show that centre-back partner Gabriel Magalhaes is the only teammate to have won more aerial battles, on average, than Saliba per Premier League outing this season.
The 2022 World Cup runner-up has started every top flight fixture since the campaign got underway, underlining his importance as Arsenal battle it out for the title.
Saliba shone during the Gunners’ 4-0 victory over Everton in midweek, with Sofascore handing him a 7.0 match rating after completing two clearances, winning as many aerial duels and registering 91 per cent pass accuracy.
He has had to battle for a regular spot in Arsenal’s starting line-up since making the £27million switch from Saint-Etienne in 2019.
In fact, Saliba went into the current campaign still waiting to make his debut for the capital club, so he deserves a new contract as a reward for his persistence and performances.
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