Arsenal deal blows to Liverpool, Chelsea, City as ‘meetings scheduled’

Arsenal train in Dubai

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Arsenal have scheduled meetings to discuss contract extensions with three of their biggest stars in a move that could disrupt the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City ahead of next season, according to reports. The Gunners currently have a number of players who will be out of contract in the not-too-distant future, with Bukayo Saka and William Saliba only tied down until the summer of 2024 as things stand.

Both players have been linked with potential moves away from the Emirates Stadium if they fail to extend their deals over the coming months, with Saka believed to be a target for several Premier League clubs after establishing himself as one of the division’s best young players in recent years. Saliba has also been tentatively linked with an exit as a result of his impressive start to life in England, although it seems as though Arsenal are taking steps to secure the long-term futures of their most important assets before the season draws to a close.

Meetings have been pencilled in with Saka, Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli to discuss extending their respective stays in north London in the new year, according to Fabrizio Romano. It is said that Arsenal are determined to avoid losing their best players to rival Premier League clubs and will push ahead with talks over the coming weeks and months in order to ward off interest from elsewhere in advance of next season.

Those in power at Arsenal know that negotiations are likely to drag on for some time, which has highlighted the need to begin talks early as they look to avoid being raided by the likes of Liverpool and City at the end of the season. The Gunners risk finding themselves under pressure to cash in on Saka and Saliba if their contracts are not extended by the start of next summer, at which point they will only have a year left to run on their current deals at the club.

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“Arsenal fans keep asking me for updates on contracts for their star players,” Romano told Caught Offside. “My understanding is they will discuss again with Bukayo Saka’s agents in the next weeks and months, same for William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli. The plan is clear: they want to extend the contracts, but these things take time.”

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to keep their prized assets on their books for the foreseeable future, with the next few months set to be crucial in deciding their respective fates amid the interest in their services from elsewhere in England. Sporting director Edu recently revealed that progress had already been made regarding a new contract for Saka in particular, although there is still plenty of work left to do over the next few weeks before the 21-year-old can sign on the dotted line.

“Good, very good,” Edu told The Athletic back in August when quizzed on how things were going. “Everybody is happy. It’s normal. We’re going to sit and put all the expectations in the right place.

“Our expectations and his, his family and his agent’s expectations, and put everything together. The main thing is how he feels, how he feels comfortable with us. He’s happy, we’re happy, so it’s just: sit down and find a solution.”

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