Arsenal are ready to activate the release clause in Marc Cucurella’s Getafe contract, amid ongoing doubts that versatile star Bukayo Saka will commit to a new deal.
Saka, who was promoted to the Gunners’ first team last summer, has impressed under both Unai Emery and current boss Mikel Arteta, netting three goals and assisting seven others in 25 appearances.
The 18-year-old, who was born in Ealing, came in for special praise from Arteta following his performance in the recent 4-0 win over Newcastle, in which he set up Nicolas Pepe for the Gunners’ second.
Saka’s rise in form has led to reports that Liverpool and Bayern Munich are keeping tabs on his progress, with a summer swoop possible given that the youngster only has 18 months left on his current deal.
“I just leave all that stuff to my agent and my parents,” the winger said.
“I just enjoy my football and play my football. Do I want to stay? Like I said it’s for my agent. They’re sorting it out.
“Of course I’m enjoying my football, enjoying playing under the new coach so we’ll see what happens.”
However, while it’s claimed Arsenal remain hopeful that Saka will commit to a new deal, the club are considering a summer move for Getafe full-back Cucurella to ensure they aren’t left with cover at left-back heading into the 2020/21 season.
According to Spanish outlet COPE, Arsenal are on of several suitors keeping a close watch on the 21-year-old, who is on loan from Barcelona, but is expected to seal a €6m switch to Getafe over the summer.
However, it’s claimed his stay there could be a short one with the Gunners joining Tottenham, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid all keeping tabs on him and willing to pay the £21million (€25m) release clause of Cucurella in a deal that would net Barca 40% of any sale.
It’s claimed Cucurella has been of interest to Mikel Arteta since his days working as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City and his progress has continued this season at a Getafe side, who are pushing for qualification for the Champions League – they are currently fourth in LaLiga – and last week beat Ajax 2-0 in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie.
Arteta’s priority, however, remains finalising a new deal for Saka, who has proved one of the Gunners’ most consistent stars since the Spaniard took charge.
“That is something the club has to get sorted,” Arteta said of Saka’s future.
“My priority is that he continues to play like he is doing and he keeps developing. He is always asking the right questions.
“He is a very brave guy. Every time he gets into the final third, he is trying to cause problems for the opponent. He deserves these chances, he is doing very well and that’s why he is in the team.
“He’s great for the club. If we can get players from the academy and give them real chances even when we have other people fit, it shows we believe in them. He’s responded well.”