Arsenal: ‘Long-term’ Saliba deal ‘locked down’; ‘wants to be big part’ of Champions League quest

Jason Soutar
Arsenal defender William Saliba celebrates a goal

Arsenal defender William Saliba is ‘expected’ to pen a ‘long-term contract’ despite links of a move to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Ben Jacobs.

At the beginning of the season, the Gunners set out to extend the contracts of young trio Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Saliba.

Martinelli eventually put pen to paper in February, signing a new contract lasting until 2027, with the option of another year.

The club are expected to announce Saka’s extension before the end of the season, which will be a massive boost considering how much promise he has shown under Mikel Arteta.

A Saliba extension will be next on the agenda, though there has always been a feeling that this contract will be the most difficult to agree out of the three players.

The French international did not make his first-team debut for Arsenal until matchday one of this season despite the fact he was signed in the summer of 2019.

He has been extremely impressive next to Gabriel Magalhaes in the heart of Arteta’s defence and looks like he has been playing in the Premier League for years.

Given the fact he is only 22 years old and already starring for Arsenal and France, the Gunners are desperate to agree a new contract – which expires in 2024, though there is a club option to extend Saliba’s deal until 2025.

He has been linked with a move to French champions PSG, which is perhaps why talks over a new contract are not processing how the club would like.

However, transfer expert Ben Jacobs has said links to PSG are ‘natural’ as he was born close to the French capital.

Jacobs also said he ‘expects’ a long-term contract to be agreed in the near future with Arsenal flying in the Premier League.

“Saliba was only born about six kilometres from the centre of Paris, so links between Paris Saint-Germain and Saliba are only natural,” he wrote for CaughtOffside.

“But I fully expect Arsenal to get Saliba locked down to a long-term contract. Why wouldn’t he want to stay at the club where he’s playing regularly and where he could well end up being a Premier League winner?

“And if everything goes according to plan for Arsenal, they will be challenging for the Champions League next season as well and Saliba will want to be a big part of that.”

Saliba is currently out injured with a back problem and missed Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Leeds United on Saturday.

As per The Sun, he is expected to miss this weekend’s trip to Liverpool, which is a huge blow.

Rob Holding has filled in for Saliba and has barely put a foot wrong, but Arsenal fans are rightly feeling nervous knowing he will likely start at Anfield.

Speaking last week, Arteta said he hopes Saliba will play again this season as Arsenal look to win their first Premier League title since 2004.

He said: “I am very hopeful and he is as well. Back injuries are a bit tricky and how they evolve with the load that you put in certain areas. Let’s push it and see how he copes with that. He’s so willing to be back in the team.”

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