Mikel Arteta ‘very confident’ Arsenal will complete new contract for star man, as Prem rivals watch on

Mikel Arteta managing Arsenal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is ‘very confident’ the club will tie down Bukayo Saka to a new contract amid reported interest from two Premier League rivals.

Saka has been a revelation for Arsenal since breaking into their senior team in the 2019/20 campaign. He has become one of their most important players and is a favourite among fans due to this.

In 133 matches for the Gunners, Saka has registered 23 goals and 29 assists. And he enjoyed his best season in the famous red shirt last term.

The winger managed 12 goals and seven assists as Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League and reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, where they lost to eventual winners Liverpool.

Saka is clearly enjoying his time at the Emirates. He is also a regular England international, having won over Gareth Southgate through his pace, skill and versatility.

Despite Saka and Arsenal seemingly being a fairytale romance, there are rumours he could leave for an English rival. Reports have put Liverpool and Manchester City on Saka’s trail.

In response to these links, Arsenal are planning to hand Saka a new long-term deal, including a handsome pay rise.

His current terms expire in June 2024 and are worth just £33,000 a week, according to Salary Sport.

Even if Liverpool and City weren’t interested in Saka, Arsenal would still need to increase his weekly wage. After all, he is one of their best players but earns far less than Nicolas Pepe, Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.

Mikel Arteta speaks about Bukayo Saka future

Ahead of Arsenal’s league match against Bournemouth on Saturday, Arteta was asked how the contract negotiations are going between Arsenal and Saka’s agent.

He replied (via 90Min): “I am very confident that we as a club and Bukayo, his family, his agent, everybody, we are very much aligned in what we want to achieve.

“I would like that to get done, because I don’t want the player or anybody distracted while we are in the middle of the season. But those things take time and they have to go through the right process. I think the process has been really good.”

It seems Arsenal fans can begin to get excited about Saka penning a new deal. It is almost as big as a new signing, given his importance to Arteta and the club as a whole.

A new long-term contract should help to ward off Liverpool and City, as well as any other potential suitors.

While they could still make bids for the 20-year-old, fresh terms would put Arsenal in a much stronger position. It means they would not have to worry about Saka leaving on a free transfer in two years’ time.

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand thinks an Arsenal attacker has the ability to follow in the footsteps of a Liverpool hero.