Slap in face for Arsenal with key star’s agent in PSG talks despite contract renewal hopes

Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Kieran Tierney of Arsenal

Arsenal could lose one of their most important players even if he signs a new contract at the Emirates, with one report claiming his agent to be in talks with Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsenal have three contracts to sort out as a priority. All of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba’s current deals expire in summer 2024.

The young trio have proven themselves to be some of Mikel Arteta’s best players this campaign. Saka and Martinelli have scored 10 goals between them from wide areas this term, while Saliba has been a rock in the centre of defence alongside Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal are in discussions with all three players and their representatives about extending their terms. They are planning to improve Saka’s weekly wage from £30,000 a week to £200,000.

The winger is picking up interest from Liverpool and Manchester City, so Arsenal are anxious about getting the deal over the line. However, a full agreement is yet to be reached.

There was a big update about Martinelli’s future on Wednesday. As per the Daily Mail, he is on the verge of signing his own £200k-a-week contract. This should help to keep Barcelona at bay, as the La Liga giants are apparently ‘very attentive’ to Martinelli’s situation.

Like Saka and Martinelli, Saliba is in line for a new contract in north London. It is expected to last until the end of the 2027/28 season and will treble his earnings from £40,000 a week to £120,000 every seven days.

However, a big issue has emerged over the defender’s future. According to French source Media Foot, PSG are proving to be a nuisance in Arsenal’s contract talks.

PSG discussing huge Arsenal raid with agent

That’s because they are in regular contact with Saliba’s agent, letting him know they are interested in signing him next summer.

It appears the main reason for this is to put doubt in Saliba’s mind about his new Arsenal deal. If he refuses to extend his terms there, then a PSG transfer will be easier to achieve.

At the moment, Saliba is focusing on continuing his fantastic campaign with Arsenal. But his recent World Cup trip with France has made him think about his long-term future.

Despite his exceptional performances for Arsenal, the 21-year-old barely featured in Qatar. He managed 27 minutes in the group stage match against Tunisia, which ended in a 1-0 defeat, but that was it.

Les Blues boss Didier Deschamps also has the likes of Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate and Jules Kounde at his disposal.

William Saliba knows PSG move would help France aspirations

As Saliba couldn’t get into Deschamps’ team at the World Cup, he is now ‘considering all possibilities’ going forward. According to the report, this includes going back to France with PSG. After all, shining in the Champions League with them would give him a great shot at becoming a regular starter for France at the 2024 Euros.

The positive for Arsenal is that PSG know how ‘difficult’ it would be to prize him away from Arsenal. He is already integral to Arteta’s plans, so the Gunners would not entertain any bids for him any time soon.

It is no surprise that Saliba is being linked with a return to France, given how good he was during his three loan spells there. But it is very hard to imagine Arsenal selling Saliba.

He looks set to be arguably their most important defender for the next five seasons, perhaps more. And keeping players of his quality will prove a massive help in Arsenal’s hunt for major trophies.

A move to PSG could happen if Saliba outgrows Arsenal and they fail to keep up with his lofty ambitions. But as things stand, he is likely to extend his contract there and remain in England.

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has told Arsenal how they can avoid the January transfer mistakes of rivals Tottenham.