Arsenal open contract talks with key defender William Saliba

He is currently out of contract in 2024 as it stands

Arsenal have opened formal contract talks with young French defender William Saliba as they look to tie down their top talent down to new long-term contracts in north London.

The Gunners returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, and are reliant on a young core of players all seeking new deals. As it stands, Bukayo Saka’s contract runs out in 2024 and Gabriel Martinelli’s own deal expires in 2025.

It is Saliba’s future that has caused the most speculation however, with the centre-back having been subject to three loan spells before finally making his first team debut, and his current deal expiring in 2023, though Arsenal have the option of an extra 12 months which they will almost certainly take up.

The defender has slotted seamlessly into Mikel Arteta’s side, having played every minute of the Premier League season until he was substituted after 76 minutes on Sunday.

Speaking to Sky Sports last month, Saliba hinted he would be keen to extend his stay in north London, saying “I’m so happy to be back to play with Arsenal”, before adding “I’m at home here. I like London. I like the club. I like everything. I feel at home.”

It came amid reports that his entourage and Arsenal had begun informal talks over a new deal for the defender, which would better reflect his higher standing within the club.

And, the Athletic report, “Those early talks have since turned into formal negotiations and Arsenal have now made an offer. There is no agreement so far but the dialogue will continue”.

The Gunners have already tied down Saliba’s defensive partner Gabriel to a new deal, with the club announcing last week that the Brazilian had agreed to remain at the Emirates until 2027.

If they can add long-term deals for Saliba, Saka and Martinelli, then they could well be sticking around at the top of the table for years to come.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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