‘Timing is key’ – Arsenal boss Arteta urges Saka and Saliba to sign long-term contracts with only 18 months left on deal | The SunFebruary 4, 2023
MIKEL ARTETA has urged Bukayo Saka and William Saliba to follow Gabriel Martinelli by pledging their long-term futures to Arsenal.
But he admits there is still plenty of work to be done to tie down the young superstars after months of negotiations.
Brazilian international Martinelli has ended the speculation surrounding his own future after signing a new £180,000-a-week contract to 2027 with the option of a further year.
But fellow 21-years-olds Saka and Saliba are yet to put pen to paper despite the club’s best efforts to strike a deal.
Arteta admitted: “The plan is to extend the contracts of our biggest talents and commit them for the future and that’s what we are trying to do.
“We have started with Gabi, which is good news, and the others will be done whenever we can.
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“But we all have to agree because we have to meet everybody’s expectations and timing is key on that.”
Both Saka and Saliba are under contract until 2024 and Arteta insisted: “I see everybody really happy and willing to continue with Arsenal.
“We want to build with all the talent and youth we have in the squad so it’s great news that Gabi has signed because he’s a player with enormous potential.
“He’s still very young so we know there is still much more to come from him and we all look forward to seeing him perform for Arsenal in the years to come.
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“Our supporters see his quality and energy every time he puts the shirt on and he’s the same every day in training with his hard work and values.”
Martinelli, who cost the Gunners just £6million when Unai Emery signed him from Ituana in 2019, said: “I love everything about Arsenal. I love the city, my team-mates, the fans and the club.
“I am so proud to wear this shirt and now we need to win trophies.”
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