Premier League • England

Huge Arteta boost with Arsenal on cusp of finalising new contract for highly wanted star

Gabriel Magalhaes, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal

Arsenal trio Gabriel Magalhaes, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel Jesus

Arsenal will prevent a Serie A-linked star from leaving in the January transfer window as they are on the verge of agreeing a new contract with his camp, according to a top source.

It looks set to be an interesting transfer window for Arsenal, as manager Mikel Arteta could demand a couple of big signings in order to help the team fight for Premier League and cup glory. They have recently fallen to fourth in the league but are still in the mix for the title, while they will also come up against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round and Porto in the Champions League round of 16.

However, it remains to be seen whether Arteta will have much money to play with. Arsenal may have spent most of their transfer budget in the summer, as they parted with over £200million to land the likes of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. The Gunners are expected to pay a further £27m to sign loanee goalkeeper David Raya permanently, too.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with striker Ivan Toney, even though he has been given a huge £80m price tag by Brentford. But on Monday, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed that the chances of Toney penning a new contract with Brentford are growing, and it will include a release for either Arsenal to Chelsea to match in the summer.

While Toney is very unlikely to arrive at the Emirates in January, one player who looks set to remain part of Arteta’s squad is Takehiro Tomiyasu.

The versatile defender, who can operate as a full-back on either side or as a centre-half, has been tipped to leave for mainland Europe in recent months. At one point, he was a defensive target for Bayern Munich, while he has also been linked with several Italian clubs including Inter Milan.

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But on December 14, TEAMtalk revealed that Bayern had dropped their interest in Tomiyasu, with Arsenal poised to hand him a new deal. And there has now been a big update on that contract.

As per Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are ‘advancing to the final stages’ of their contract discussions with the 25-year-old. The North London outfit are ‘getting closer’ to tying him down for the long run, while also handing the player a big pay rise.

Arsenal to hand Takehiro Tomiyasu pay rise

His current deal runs until the summer of 2025 and is reportedly worth £56,000 a week, far less than most of his Arsenal team-mates. It is likely the club will reward him for his loyalty by taking his earnings above the £100k-a-week mark.

The journalist adds that Tomiyasu definitely will not leave Arsenal this month, as he is ‘100 per cent part of their plans’ despite the speculation involving Bayern and Inter.

The Japan international’s decision to stay at Arsenal represents a major lift for Arteta. The manager knows that if Arsenal are to beat the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Aston Villa to the title, he will need as much squad depth as possible. And Tomiyasu is a player who can cover for several different positions.

The former Bologna man is ready to represent his country at the upcoming Asian Cup, which will run from January 12 to February 10. But Tomiyasu will be aiming to help Arsenal’s pursuit of silverware in the final few months of the campaign after returning from that tournament.

Tomiyasu will be hoping to put in some far better performances than the one against Fulham on Sunday. He replaced Jakub Kiwior at left-back at half time, but Jamie Redknapp criticised him for ‘looking lost’ and being a ‘nuisance’ for his own team, rather than helping them win. The Gunners ultimately lost 2-1 to Fulham at Craven Cottage, taking their winless run to three games.

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