Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to tie Bukayo Saka to a new long-term deal after Man City identified him as their No 1 target to replace Raheem Sterling… and Gunners bosses are confident he will sign a deal
- Arsenal are looking to tie winger Bukayo Saka to a new long-term deal
- Saka is set up by Man City to replace Raheem Sterling
- The 20-year-old has two years left on his current Gunners contract
- Saka is offered a new deal to make him one of Arsenal’s top earners
England international Sterling, who played such a vital role for City during Pep Guardiola’s reign, completed his £45m move Chelsea The curtain falls on his illustrious career at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
And City have already identified fellow international Saka, who, like Sterling, qualifies as a home player, as their long-term No1 target to take the late 27-year-old’s place in Guardiola’s squad.
Arsenal will step up their efforts to tie Bukayo Saka to a new long-term deal
The Premier League champions’ interest in Saka, 20, adds a layer of complication to the Gunners’ attempts to sign their academy graduates to a new contract.
The youngster now has less than two years on his existing contract and talks are ongoing for a long-term extension – which would make Saka one of the club’s highest-paid players.
There is a feeling at the Emirates that despite City’s interest, Saka can be persuaded to sign a new contract. although any arrangements that might facilitate a future departure could prove key to a successful resolution.
The failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League was a blow to Arsenal’s hopes of convincing Saka that his long-term future remains in north London.
Widely regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in European football, the forward is keen to play in top-flight European club competition.
Indeed, Arsenal’s ambition to reassert themselves as a consistent contender in the Champions League is likely to be a key factor in the Gunners’ move to secure Saka’s future.
Saka would be practically guaranteed Champions League football at City. Nonetheless, Arsenal remain convinced that Saka is ready to sign new terms despite how the Gunners start the season.
Manchester City see Arsenal’s Saka (right) as the ideal replacement for Raheem Sterling (left)
Arsenal remain highly unlikely to consider selling Saka this summer as Mikel Arteta sees the attacker as crucial to his plans to finally finish in the top four.
But the prospect of City joining Saka in either January or next summer’s window will escalate if Arsenal fail to sign him.
Having already signed Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Viera, the Gunners are now focused on securing a deal for City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko – a move first announced by Sportsmail in May.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hopes Saka entrusts his long-term future to the Gunners