First of three major Arsenal deals crosses the line, with centre-half and winger agreements now under the spotlight
The reliable David Ornstein has confirmed Gabriel Martinelli has put pen to paper over a new and improved Arsenal contract, with attention now turning to two even more important players.
The high-flying Gunners are on course to lift their first Premier League title since 2004. It’s been a remarkable turnaround after a late-season collapse saw Arsenal narrowly miss out on a top four finish last year.
Yet that bitter disappointment appears to have galvanised Mikel Arteta’s side, with the vast majority of his squad upping their games when compared to the previous campaign.
Spectacular performances can be found across the entire pitch at the Emirates of late. Among the biggest hits this season has been Brazilian livewire, Gabriel Martinelli.
The 21-year-old has seven goals and two assists to his name in 19 league appearances thus far. He’s already surpassed his previous league high in goals (six) with half a season remaining.
Martinelli’s deal was due to expire in the summer of 2024, though Arsenal did have club options for an extra two years.
Those options will no longer be required following the latest update from David Ornstein.
The senior Athletic reporter wrote Martinelli has today ‘signed his new Arsenal contract’. The deal had been agreed in principle a few days prior, though only today has the new deal actually been signed.
Martinelli is now under contract until the summer of 2027. Ornstein added the player’s deal is ‘improved’, thus suggesting he’s received a handy pay rise.
With Martinelli’s future now secure, attention will turn to two stars who are arguably even more important.
Saliba, Saka now in focus
Fabrizio Romano previously reported talks over the extensions of Martinelli, William Saliba and Bukayo Saka were progressing well.
Saliba and Saka are both under contract until 2024, though like Martinelli, are in line for improved terms if they agree to extend their stays.
“Talks are ongoing with Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba,” Romano said two weeks ago.
“All discussions are very positive but it will be time to get deals signed this year. Timing is up to [the] club and player, [it] could be any moment or months.”
Saliba has been a revelation alongside Gabriel Magalhaes this season. His dominant displays have shoved Ben White over to right-back, something that ultimately forced Cedric Soares to leave on loan upon joining Fulham.
Saka, meanwhile, is Arsenal’s two-time reigning Player of the Year. He faces strong competition to make it a hat-trick, most notably from Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey.
Nonetheless, Saka is holding up his end of the bargain with seven goals in the league including a double against Liverpool and scoring home and away against Man Utd.
With Martinelli’s deal inked, Saka and Saliba will be next to commit their futures barring any last-ditch U-turns.
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