Premier League • England

Bukayo Saka: Rival Premier League interest remains, but Arsenal renewal seen as a ‘priority’

Bukayo Saka Arsenal May 2022

England and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka is wanted by a number of rival Premier League clubs, but player’s renewal is seen as a “priority” for the club, according to a reporter.

The 20-year-old will run into the final 12 months of his contract this time next year. That is why Arsenal have been working hard on a new deal for the Londoner since February. It is that hesitancy that has seen a number of the Gunners’ rivals take more than just a passing interest in the speedy attacker.

A number of outlets, including the Daily Mail, claim Man City have already identified Saka as a long-term replacement for Raheem Sterling.

Meanwhile, the late Ian McGarry claimed on the Transfer Window Podcast that Liverpool have shortlisted Saka as a potential new signing back in December.

There’s no doubt the pair have been tracking Saka’s situation with interest. Arsenal though have played down the talks and Mikel Arteta claimed on Sunday a deal was imminent.

“We will try and we both have the same intention. It’s a matter of time,” Arteta said after the 2-0 friendly win over Everton.

Still, no deal has been rubber-stamped, despite both the club and the player wanting an extension.

Transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano told caughtoffside: “The talks between Arsenal and Bukayo Saka’s camp have been going on since February. Arsenal consider Saka a key player and think his contract extension is like a new signing, it is a priority for this summer.

£100m Bukayo Saka negotiating big contract

“The top English clubs have been monitoring the situation for some time. But the good news for Gunners supporters is that Arsenal is the player’s priority. Saka loves the club and there is a negotiation in progress.

“Honestly, I think it is ideal for Bukayo to stay at Arsenal because the project is very clear. It’s ambitious and with a manager who believes in him.

“In my opinion over the years he could end up being worth even more than €100m. Remember that Saka is only 20 years old!”

The wrangle is likely to revolve around the financial terms of any new deal.

Saka is no doubt set for a huge rise on the £30,000 a week he currently earns at The Emirates. But exactly how much Arsenal are prepared to pay seems to be the sticking point.

Manchester City watching Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka

Manchester City watching Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka

Manchester City are planning a move for Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka this summer

Gabriel Jesus’ recent arrival on big money may well have further complicated the wrangle.

Journalist Nabil Djellit claimed the Brazil international was offered £13.7m or £264,000 a week to sign for the club. While Brazilian outlet claim Jesus is on a modest £10m or £192,000 a week.

Whatever the finer details of Jesus’ deal are, it’s a given that Saka’s entourage will have used the deal as part of their negotiations.

The Gunners, meanwhile, are also reportedly back on the trail of a Brazilian midfielder Arteta hugely admires.