Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Arsenal’s next eight transfer moves following Saliba’s offer, Martinelli demand, and contract announcement

Arsenal’s next eight transfer moves following Saliba’s offer, Martinelli demand, and contract announcement

Three senior Arsenal players have signed new contracts for 2022, and supporters are hopeful that another trio will soon follow suit.

Mohamed Elneny signed a one-year extension at the end of last season, Eddie Nketiah ended all speculation about his future by committing to the club, and most recently it was announced that Gabriel Magalhaes had signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners.

The question now is whether Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, and Gabriel Martinelli will follow suit. Intriguingly, they have all entered the final 19 months of their respective contracts at the Emirates Stadium, although Arsenal has the option to extend their contracts for at least one more year.

Fans will be encouraged by the club’s efforts to safeguard their future. The Athletic reported last month that an official contract offer had been made to Saliba, Saka ‘personally invested’ in an executive box at the Emirates Stadium, and Martinelli ‘needs a pen’ to sign a new contract.

In an ideal world, Richard Garlick, whose primary responsibility is to negotiate contracts with both existing and new players, will sign the aforementioned trio to new deals before the end of the season; if not, Gunners fans may experience a tense summer transfer window.

However, they are not Arsenal’s only contract priorities at the moment. Reiss Nelson and Elneny are the two first-team players whose contracts expire next June; however, the club has the option to extend Elneny’s stay by an additional year, and Nelson has been challenged to earn a new contract.

“Yeah, 100%,” said Arteta when asked by if Nelson still has a possibility of signing a new deal. “That is why he is here, because we want to have that opportunity with him. He was willing to take that opportunity and again it’s down to him to show it now on the pitch.

“Out there [in training], he is showing it every day, how he is working, a lot of things that he has changed and improved in many things that in our opinion could have been better. Now he is on the right track, now he needs to perform.”

Prior to joining Southampton on loan, it was reported that Ainsley Maitland-Niles signed a one-year extension with the Gunners; if this is true, he joins Granit Xhaka, Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari, Nicolas Pepe, Alex Runarsson, and Rob Holdings as the senior players whose contracts expire in June 2024, according to transfermarkt.

As things stand, only Xhaka is regarded as a key player for Arteta, and since his contract has an option for an additional year that would keep him at the club until the end of the 2024/2025 season, it could be argued that he is not a top priority.

Given that neither Mari, Runarsson, Maitland-Niles, nor Pepe appear to have long-term futures with Arsenal, the quartet are effectively on display this season to help their parent club garner a respectable transfer fee if they are sold next year.

Garlick, Arteta, and technical director Edu will be extremely busy over the next few months if the Gunners are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, in which the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Ozil entered the final six months of their contracts before leaving without commanding a transfer fee.

While it appears that Arteta and Edu have already taken steps to avoid being in a “weak position” with respect to Saliba, Saka, and Martinelli, they must not overlook the other eight Arsenal first-team players whose contracts expire in 2023 or 2024, as there may be an opportunity to generate millions of pounds.

Arsenal’s next eight transfer moves following Saliba’s offer, Martinelli demand, and contract announcement

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