Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed Bukayo Saka’s intentions for the future after transfer links to Liverpool this summer. The England star has two years left on his contract and has not signed a new deal since becoming a key player in the squad, meaning the Gunners will need to offer the 20-year-old a significant pay rise in order to keep Saka at the club beyond 2024.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had been linked with Saka as they looked for a Sadio Mane replacement this summer, and a possible successor to Mohamed Salah before the Egyptian signed a new deal to remain at Anfield until 2025. Arteta will be keen to tie Saka down to a long-term contract, and the Spanish boss believes that the England international also wants to remain at the club.
After Arsenal’s 2-0 pre-season win over Everton, Arteta was asked about ongoing negotiations to renew Saka’s contract. “We will try,” Arteta replied. “And we both have the same intention and it’s a matter of time.” Saka was on the scoresheet against the Toffees as he latched onto Gabriel Jesus’ cross and fired past international team-mate Jordan Pickford.
Saka had also been linked with Manchester City as a possible replacement for Raheem Sterling, who recently completed a £47.5million move to Chelsea. The two clubs will have been well-placed to discuss Saka as Arsenal have already negotiated with Manchester City for the transfer of Jesus, while they reportedly have agreed a fee of £30m to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko from Pep Guardiola’s side.
Saka’s availability has benefitted Arsenal since he broke into the first team in the 2019/20 season. He played in every Premier League game in the last campaign as the Gunners’ form at the tail end of last season dipped when they suffered injuries to key men Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.
Arteta has revealed a number of his players are dealing with issues less than three weeks until their opening game of the season away to Crystal Palace.
“He [Ben White] had a bit of a niggle in his quad so we have tried to protect him,” Arteta said. “We have Kieran [Tierney] with a slight problem, we have Emile [Smith Rowe] as well with a muscular niggle, [Takehiro] Tomiyasu as well and Ben. He [Fabio Vieira] had a slight problem in his bone [in his foot] and hopefully he will start to train in the next week or so.”