Arsenal technical director Edu has revealed that he would look to copy what Liverpool did with Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane if Bukayo Saka leaves.
Saka has emerged in recent seasons as one of not just Arsenal’s, but England’s brightest talents. Turning 21 in September, he has already racked up 131 Gunners appearances.
Saka also has 18 England caps and will look to be star at the World Cup later this year.
However, the focus has already turned to his contract situation. Saka has two years left on his Arsenal contract and, given his Gunners expertise and untapped potential, his renewal is a big focus.
Speaking to Football.London in a wide-ranging interview, Edu insisted that contract talks are progressing well.
The Brazilian said: “Good, very good. Everybody is happy. When you have one situation, everyone is happy and enjoying.”
Pressed on the fact that negotiations are seemingly not going as smoothly as hoped, the Gunners chief eased any concerns.
“It’s normal,” Edu said. “We’re going to sit and put all the expectations in the right place. Our expectations and his, his family and his agents’ expectations and put everything together.
“The main thing is how he feels, how he feels comfortable with us. He’s happy, we’re happy, so it’s just sit down and find a solution.
“Part of the plan is when you are starting to sell the players, that’s the challenging one. You already need someone prepared. [If we can then] sell, [and if] we are able to do that and then chapeau. It’s very challenging.”
Saka, Arsenal situation could mirror Liverpool
Edu added that if Arsenal were going to sell Saka, the club would “have someone straight away to replace him in our model”.
Asked if he would look to copy Liverpool’s January capture of Diaz ahead of Mane’s exit this summer, the club chief added: “Yes, that’s a very nice plan.”
Diaz hit the ground running at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp last season. The Colombian winger played a starring role as the Reds won two trophies and finished runners-up in another two.
Mane moved to the centre of the attack after Diaz joined, with the January arrival now making the left wing his home.
Gunners must get winger to stay
Arsenal just missed out on a top-four Premier League finish and Champions League qualification last season.
Saka was a driving force in getting the Gunners anywhere close – especially after three defeats to start the campaign.
Saka set to be rewarded with big new Arsenal contract
Bukayo Saka is set to get his current wage quadrupled this summer as Arsenal are set to offer him £120,000 a week.
And he will prove a key feature if Arsenal are to eventually get over the line into the top four next term.
Arsenal realise Saka is a star of the present, but for the long-term too – and must tie him down to a new contract.