Mikel Arteta’s new Arsenal contract announcement could be the first of many, for the men’s side at the very least, in the coming weeks and months.
Of course, the big breaking news on Friday morning was that the Spaniard – as well as Women’s manager Jonas Eidevall – have put pen-to-paper on contract extensions with the north London outfit keeping them at the club until the end of the 2024/25 and 2023/24 season, respectively.
“I’m excited, grateful and really, really happy today,” Arteta said. “When I spoke to Josh [Kroenke] he could see the club at the same point and he wanted to take the club the way I wanted to do it. So everything that he’s said, and that Stan has said when I’ve been together with both of them, they’ve always delivered.
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“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League. We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”
Whilst plans are afoot for a busy summer transfer window at Arsenal, it’s already clear as to which first-team players could be next to follow in the footsteps of Arteta by signing a contract extension – whether that be before or after the current campaign concludes.
Perhaps the number one priority is to tie down Bukayo Saka, amid links to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. As previously reported by football.london, it has been the plan for the Gunners to offer the England international a brand new contract at the end of the season.
The 20-year-old’s current deal expires in the summer of 2024 but football.london understands that fresh terms will reflect his role in the team as one of the most important players after scoring 11 goals and weighing in with six assists in the Premier League so far to help maintain Arsenal’s top-four push.
Furthermore, as soon as the season ends it will be decision time regarding the futures of Alexandre Lacazette, Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah at Arsenal. All three are out of contract at the end of June and it still remains to be seen what the outcome will be following talks that are scheduled to take place in just over a fortnight.
“We have discussions, as you know, and at the end of the season, once we know where we are, we will make a decision altogether,” Arteta said in March. “I don’t want anyone to think about something else that is not that. The decision, we agreed, is to do it in the summer and we’re going to do it as soon as the season is finished.”
Last, but by no means least, is to get the William Saliba situation sorted. This season’s loan spell with Marseille has proved he can be a key player for Arsenal, but everything will be clearer once his representative meets with technical director Edu in the coming weeks to discuss the next steps in his future as preliminary talks will be opened to extend his contract which expires in 2024.
Head of football operations Richard Garlick is tasked with contract negotiations for all first-team players and staff, and it’s likely to be a busy period for him once the season is over.