Premier League • England

Next Arsenal deal takes shape with talks involving midfielder labelled ‘world class’ by Arteta to begin

A close-up shot of Mikel Arteta with a prominent Arsenal badge alongside him

Mikel Arteta has overseen a remarkable transformation at Arsenal since being appointed in December 2019

Arsenal are reportedly set to open contract talks with Jorginho after a series of standout performances over recent weeks.

Jorginho has entered the final months of his current Arsenal deal, having signed a one-and-a-half-year deal – with an option to extend by a further year – upon his arrival from Chelsea in a £12million deal in January 2023.

With Thomas Partey out injured for much of this season, Jorginho has emerged as a heavily influential player in Mikel Arteta’s side, making 25 appearances in all competitions.

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Arsenal remain in contention to win a first Premier League title in two decades in 2024, with the Gunners currently sitting third – a point behind reigning champions Manchester City and a further point behind leaders Liverpool.

Playing regularly in a midfield three alongside summer signing Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard – and even captaining the side on occasion – Jorginho’s experience has come to the fore in a number of pivotal fixtures over recent weeks.

Having scooped the man of the match award after Arsenal’s stunning 3-1 victory over Liverpool on February 4, the 32-year-old once again pulled the strings last Saturday as Arteta’s side comfortably saw off Newcastle United.

Jorginho tipped for ‘big impact’ at Arsenal despite Italy rumours

Speaking following the win over Newcastle, Arteta hailed Jorginho as a “top player” and claimed the Italy international will have a “big impact” during the title run in.

Arteta said: “He’s a top player, especially when the opponents have certain behaviours or certain set-up.

“The way I can imagine the game, he is going to have a big impact, but I think you have to do it at this level and when he’s not playing consistently, credit to him because he was magnificent today again.

“He is certainly [world-class] but I think individually today we were outstanding in the way we played and we raised the bar again.”

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A report by The Standard has now claimed that Arsenal are to open negotiations with Jorginho over a new contract on “fresh terms” rather than merely activating the option to extend his existing deal.

The news comes after Jorginho had been heavily linked with a return to Italy with Lazio, Juventus and former club Napoli cited as potential destinations.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos claimed earlier this week that Jorginho would be open to returning to his homeland, having come to prominence at Napoli under current Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri, who signed the midfielder shortly after his appointment as Chelsea manager in 2018.

Santos told TV Play: “He’d suit Lazio more, for the presence of coach Sarri who already knows his characteristics very well, but also Juve who have a great director of sport like Cristiano Giuntoli, who he spent many years with at Napoli.

“I would not rule out a return to Napoli with new coach [Francesco] Calzona, who used to work with Sarri before that.

“I don’t think Roma would be likely, because there has never been any contact with them, but when it comes to their strength and tradition everyone would love to play for Milan and Inter.”

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Santos’s comments came after Jorginho himself admitted during last November’s international break that he would be keen to play again in Italy – but insisted he still had “things to do at Arsenal.”

He said: “I’m very much in doubt.

“I would like to return, but I don’t know when the right time would be. I want to return, yes, but I don’t know when.

“I feel I still have things to do at Arsenal.

“It always takes time when you change teams, but the first six months at Arsenal were not negative, on the contrary.

“Obviously, it takes time to understand the mechanisms better. Arteta gives you a billion pieces of information, but I’m very happy there.

“I have grown a lot on the pitch, in experience. I changed teams, coaches, therefore more information. I understood the game even more and how to compete.

“Competing does not just mean playing well, but also comes from experience. And this I try to pass this experience on to my team-mates too.”

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