Arsenal ramp up their efforts to tie down Bukayo Saka to a new long-term contract after Man City identified him as their No 1 target to replace Raheem Sterling… and Gunners chiefs are confident he WILL sign bumper deal
- Arsenal want to tie winger Bukayo Saka down to a new long-term contract
- Saka is being lined up by Man City as their replacement for Raheem Sterling
- The 20-year-old has two years left to run on his current Gunners contract
- Saka will be offered a new deal to make him one of Arsenal’s top earners
Arsenal are to accelerate their attempts to lock Bukayo Saka into a new contract amid concerns that Manchester City view their youngster as Raheem Sterling’s dream replacement.
England international Sterling, who has played such a key role for City during Pep Guardiola’s reign, completed his £45million switch to Chelsea on Wednesday bringing the curtain down on his illustrious career at the Etihad Stadium.
And City have already identified international colleague Saka, who like Sterling qualifies as a homegrown player, as their No.1 long-term target to take the departed 27-year-old’s place in Guardiola’s squad.
Arsenal are set to intensify their efforts to tie-down Bukayo Saka to a new long-term contract
The Premier League champions’ interest in Saka, 20, adds a layer of complication towards the Gunners attempts to sign their academy graduate to a new contract.
The youngster now has less than two years left on his existing deal, with talks over a long-term extension – that would make Saka one of the club’s best paid players – ongoing.
There is a feeling at the Emirates that Saka, despite the interest from City, can be persuaded to sign a new deal; although any agreements that could ease any future departure may prove key towards a successful resolution.
Failing to qualify for the forthcoming season’s Champions League arrived as a blow to Arsenal’s hopes of convincing Saka his long-term future remains in north London.
The forward, widely recognised as one of European football’s most talented youngsters, is keen to play in European football’s top club competition.
Indeed, Arsenal’s ambition to re-assert themselves as consistent participants in the Champions League is likely to be a key factor in the Gunners’ move to secure Saka’s future.
Saka would be virtually guaranteed of Champions League football at City. Nevertheless, there remains a belief at Arsenal that Saka is open to signing fresh terms, although how the Gunners start the season could prove factor.
Manchester City see Arsenal’s Saka (right) as the ideal replacement for Raheem Sterling (left)
It remains highly unlikely that Arsenal will consider selling Saka this summer as Mikel Arteta views the attacker as crucial towards his plans to finally break into the top-four.
But the prospect of City moving for Saka in either the January or next summer’s window will escalate if Arsenal fail to sign him to a new contract.
Having already signed Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Viera, the Gunners are now concentrating on securing a deal for City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko – a move first revealed by Sportsmail in May.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping Saka commits his long-term future to the Gunners
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