Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano reveals Arsenal ‘getting closer’ to key contract despite delay; team-mate to stay put

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel Jesus and Ben White, Arsenal

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel Jesus and Ben White of Arsenal

Arsenal are making progress in their contract talks with Ben White, even though the situation has gone quiet recently – while Eddie Nketiah is hoping to stay at the Emirates despite the Gunners pursuing a new striker.

Arsenal have worked hard to tie down some of their most important players to new long-term contracts, including the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba. All of those players are contracted until at least June 2027, which means Arsenal do not have to worry about cut-price departures any time soon.

Following Odegaard penning his fresh terms in September, it emerged that full-back White is next on Arsenal’s hit list. The Englishman has become an integral player for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, having established himself as their first-choice right-back and formed a devastating partnership with Saka.

In November, Arsenal were expected to reach a ‘full agreement’ with White over a new deal. They are ready to offer him a significant pay rise on his current contract, which is worth a reported £120,000 a week.

But that agreement has yet to arrive, and there have been few reports about White’s future of late. This has got Arsenal fans wondering what is going on behind the scenes and whether the 26-year-old will go ahead and actually pen the new contract.

In an interview with CaughtOffside, Romano has now moved to end any concern Arsenal supporters might have about White’s future. He insists that the two parties are ‘getting closer’ to an agreement.

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“Contacts between Arsenal and Ben White over a new deal continue. I’m told the conversation is going very well. They will keep negotiating and talk in the next days/weeks, but it’s getting closer,” he said.

“I know fans are keen for regular updates and this one had perhaps gone a bit quiet since I first reported it some weeks ago, but there is no concern there as far as I understand. It’s progressing well and talks will continue.”

Update on White, Nketiah futures

White’s current contract runs until June 2026, and it is likely his fresh deal will last until either 2027 or 2028.

Romano has also provided an update on Nketiah’s situation. He is the backup for main centre-forward Gabriel Jesus as things stand, but that could change in January amid the club’s striker hunt.

Indeed, earlier on Tuesday it was suggested that Arsenal have moved into pole position for Victor Osimhen’s capture from Napoli. And Arsenal sporting director Edu has been tipped to sell Nketiah to help fund a move for Sporting ace Viktor Gyokeres.

But Nketiah is not angling for a move and remains happy at the Emirates. “There’s also no concern over Eddie Nketiah – Mikel Arteta is very happy with Nketiah’s behaviour off the pitch, in training and obviously with his performances on the pitch,” Romano continued.

“So it’s all very quiet at this stage, even if there have been links with new strikers and some outlets have cast doubt over Nketiah’s future as a result of this. That’s not my current understanding of the situation.”

Meanwhile, Arteta has responded to questions over the future of Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who could replace Nick Pope at Newcastle United.