Premier League • England

Saudi Pro League side open talks for senior Arsenal star as agent sets date for contract update

Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Jorginho

Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Jorginho

Jorginho is giving his priority to Arsenal when it comes to his future, but reports in Italy claim a club from the Saudi Pro League have opened talks to sign him.

The one-year anniversary of Jorginho becoming an Arsenal player is approaching in January, but his future in north London is already uncertain. Due to his age (31), he only signed an 18-month contract when he joined the club from Chelsea, so is currently due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Jorginho is not a regular starter for Arsenal, which has only added to the uncertainty surrounding his status – and beliefs by other clubs that he could become available in the new year.

Arsenal do have an option to renew Jorginho’s contract into 2025, but for the time being, there has been no progress on that front.

His agent, Joao Santos, has been quizzed by Tuttomercatoweb about the prospect of his contract extension, but the response indicates Jorginho will endure the January transfer window without being tied down further.

Santos answered: “Everything is at a standstill. We’ll think about it after February. However, the priority remains Arsenal.”

Despite Santos’ comments, links with clubs in other countries keep appearing. The latest potential exit route for Jorginho to be touted in the media is Saudi Arabia.

There has been an intensive recruitment drive in the Saudi Pro League throughout 2023 and the strategy could continue in 2024.

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The identity of the Saudi club showing an interest in Jorginho has not been revealed, but talks are said to be underway.

It could give Jorginho something new to consider after he recently admitted he was envisaging a future back in Italy’s Serie A.

Prior to his arrival in the Premier League with Chelsea in 2018, Jorginho played in Italy for Hellas Verona and Napoli, which enabled him to earn his place in the national team despite being born in Brazil.

Only time will tell what the next step of his career will be. Arsenal did not send any players to Saudi Arabia in 2023, but Jorginho could make that kind of move in 2024.

Does Jorginho have an Arsenal future?

For the time being, he will have to keep competing for a place in Arsenal’s midfield with the likes of Declan Rice, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.

Elneny is also due to reach the end of his contract in the summer, while Partey has one extra year on his deal but has nonetheless been tipped to leave in 2024 as well.

In short, there could be plenty of changes to Arsenal’s midfield in the coming months and Jorginho is just one of many players facing an uncertain future.

He has played 30 times for Arsenal so far, including 14 appearances in the current season.

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