Arsenal have successfully swatted away Manchester United and Manchester City by agreeing a new contract with talented young midfielder Ethan Nwaneri, according to a trusted source.
Nwaneri is one of the most exciting players in the Arsenal academy. He has been making a big impression with the Gunners ever since he began playing for their U18 team at just 14 years of age. Nwaneri made history in September by becoming the youngest player in Premier League history, aged just 15 years and 181 days.
Despite Mikel Arteta rating the starlet very highly, Arsenal have been at risk of losing him recently.
Manchester City and Chelsea were alerted to Nwaneri’s situation after finding out his schoolboy registration was due to expire on June 30 (Friday).
City were soon described as being ‘confident’ about winning the race for him. Although, Man Utd then joined the hunt. On June 15, The Athletic detailed Man Utd’s strong interest in adding him to their ranks.
Luckily for Arsenal, they have managed to keep hold of Nwaneri by agreeing a new contract with him. As per David Ornstein of The Athletic, the teenager has committed his future to Arsenal by penning scholarship forms with them.
When he turns 17 in March next year, he will sign his first professional contract.
Ornstein does not specifically refer to interest from City, Man Utd or Chelsea, though he does reveal Nwaneri had ‘more lucrative offers’ to leave North London.
Ethan Nwaneri pledges future to Arsenal
But Nwaneri, who represents England at U17 level, has always been an Arsenal supporter and did not want to leave. Indeed, he grew up in Islington, not far from the Emirates, which is one of the reasons why he has such a strong bond with the club.
Nwaneri is the latest young talent Arsenal have managed to tie down to fresh terms, although he is arguably the least high-profile of them. Wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli penned new deals earlier this year.
And William Saliba could soon join that list. Arsenal have agreed a new contract with the defender which will last until 2027, with the option of a further year. As per Fabrizio Romano, the deal will be officially announced when Saliba returns from holiday.
News of Nwaneri and Saliba’s new contracts comes amid Arsenal’s sublime spending spree. They have already announced the £65m capture of Kai Havertz from Chelsea and have also agreed a huge £105m package to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.
And Arsenal’s summer outlay could surpass the £250m mark as they are advancing in negotiations for Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, too.