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Arsenal 'activate Bukayo Saka contract extension'

Arsenal 'activate Bukayo Saka contract extension'
© Reuters
Arsenal reportedly activate a one-year extension in the contract of Bukayo Saka, who is now tied down to the Gunners until 2024.

Arsenal have reportedly activated a one-year extension in the contract of English attacker Bukayo Saka.

The 21-year-old's original contract was due to expire at the end of the season, meaning that he would have been free to enter discussions with foreign clubs this month.

Following Arsenal's FA Cup win in 2020, Saka penned a three-year deal with the option of a fourth, which would keep him on the books until the end of the 2023-24 season.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have now exercised their right to extend the England international's deal as they work to tie him down to longer terms.

Saka and Arsenal are locked in negotiations over a new long-term contract, and both the attacker and Mikel Arteta are said to be optimistic of an agreement being reached.

Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring for Arsenal on December 31, 2022© Reuters

However, should Arsenal fail to agree fresh terms with the Hale End graduate, both Liverpool and Manchester City are said to be keeping a close eye on developments.

Saka has enjoyed another productive Premier League season with his boyhood club, coming up with six goals and six assists in 16 top-flight appearances under Arteta.

The England international also scored three times for England at the 2022 World Cup, and his total for the Gunners now stands at 30 goals and 35 assists in 153 outings.

Saka took just 66 seconds to put Arsenal ahead in Saturday's 4-2 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, which saw Arsenal extend their lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table to seven points.

As well as Saka, Arsenal are also hoping to tie two other 21-year-old starlets in Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba down to new long-term deals in the coming weeks.

William Saliba in action for Arsenal in September 2022© Reuters

The Gunners have activated a similar 12-month clause in Saliba's contract to retain his services until 2024, having also risked losing the centre-back at the end of the season.

Saliba had to wait three years before making his competitive debut for Arsenal, but he has since established himself as an integral member of the Premier League leaders' defence.

However, Saliba's entourage are supposedly dissatisfied with the salary that Arsenal have put on the table, but the Gunners are expected to conclude an agreement with Martinelli soon.

The Brazil international, whose contract until 2024 includes a two-year option until 2026, affirmed in November that he wanted to extend his stay at the Emirates and 'just needed to get a pen'.

Arsenal could temporarily go 10 points clear of Man City at the top of the table should they get the better of third-placed Newcastle United on Tuesday night in North London.

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William Saliba in action for Arsenal in August 2022
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