Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano confirms Arsenal contract talks, with top performer to follow Martin Odegaard lead

Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko, Arsenal

Arsenal defenders Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Arsenal will prioritise a new contract for Ben White next, having already tied down Martin Odegaard to a long-term deal.

On August 15, Arsenal insider Charles Watts told TEAMtalk that Gunners chiefs had begun contract discussions with Odegaard. That followed tentative reports linking the Arsenal captain with a big move to either Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid.

On September 22, Arsenal successfully ended all talk that Odegaard might depart the Emirates by announcing his fresh terms. The attacking midfielder has signed a new contract which is designed to keep him with Arsenal until June 2028.

Odegaard has followed team-mates including Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Aaron Ramsdale in penning a new deal.

Arsenal are already aiming to tie down another integral player. On Friday, the Daily Mirror revealed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has become desperate for the club to sort out a new deal with defender White.

And writing on Twitter, transfer specialist Romano has now confirmed that is the case. He states that Arsenal are ‘working’ on finalising White’s fresh contract, as the Englishman is the ‘next one on the list’ following Odegaard.

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Romano adds that talks will advance ‘soon’, as the Gunners hierarchy are ‘very happy’ with White’s performances.

White’s current deal expires in summer 2026, so it is likely Arsenal will extend that by two years.

Ben White shining for Arsenal

Arsenal raised eyebrows when they spent £50million to sign White from Premier League rivals Brighton in July 2021. However, White has gone on to justify that big fee.

White usually operates as a centre-half but moved to right-back last term due to Arteta selecting Saliba and Gabriel in central defence. But the four-time England international is thriving in that full-back role, getting forward to help with attacks and forming a brilliant partnership with right winger Saka.

White featured in all 38 of Arsenal’s league matches last season, registering two goals and five assists to help Arteta’s men challenge Manchester City for the Prem title. Ultimately, Arsenal fell short as City went on to win the trophy for the third time in a row.

White remains an important player for Arteta, having played 10 times already this campaign. He opened his account for the season by heading home Arsenal’s fourth and final goal during their convincing victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a forward wanted by Arsenal and Chelsea has refused to be drawn on the question of a new contract.