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Arsenal 'set to open contract talks with Takehiro Tomiyasu'

Arsenal 'set to open contract talks with Takehiro Tomiyasu'
© Reuters
Arsenal reportedly prepare to open talks over a new contract for Takehiro Tomiyasu, whose current deal expires in 2025 with the option of a further year.

Arsenal are preparing to open contract talks with versatile Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, according to a report.

The Gunners went head-to-head with Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of the 25-year-old in the summer of 2021, ultimately winning the race to secure a £16.2m deal on transfer deadline day as Spurs signed Emerson Royal instead.

Tomiyasu had built up a reputation as a competent centre-back in Serie A, but he was deployed on the right-hand side of Mikel Arteta's backline as the Gunners planned for life without the long-serving Hector Bellerin.

The Japan international quickly became a fan favourite in North London, but injuries began to restrict his game time, and he spent the 2022-23 campaign as Ben White's backup on the right-hand side.

However, Tomiyasu has consigned his fitness woes to history to play a crucial role for the Gunners this season, making 16 appearances in all tournaments and scoring his first goal for the club in a 5-0 win over Sheffield United in October.

Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu walks off the field after being sent off on August 21, 2023© Reuters

Tomiyasu has completed the full 90 in both of Arsenal's last two Premier League games against Newcastle United and Burnley, alternating between right and left-back roles, while he has featured from the start in three of the Gunners' four Champions League matches so far.

The defender's existing deal at the Emirates runs until 2025 with the option of a further 12 months, but sporting director Edu has made it his mission to secure the long-term futures of all vital members of Arteta's core.

According to the Daily Mail, negotiations will soon begin over a new-and-improved contract for Tomiyasu, who is believed to be attracting glances from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Arsenal were supposedly prepared to entertain bids for the 25-year-old after capturing Jurrien Timber from Ajax, but the Dutchman's ACL injury on his Premier League debut extinguished Tomiyasu's chances of an exit amid interest from clubs in Europe and the English top flight.

Tomiyasu - who is thought to be one of the club's lower earners - is also believed to be content in North London and willing to enter discussions over an improved deal, which would see him rewarded with a bumper pay rise.

Takehiro Tomiyasu in Arsenal training on November 2, 2022© Reuters

In addition to scoring his first goal against Sheffield United, the Japanese defender has also come up with three assists in 69 games for Arsenal, who have already shaken hands with a plethora of key men over new contracts.

William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson, Mohamed Elneny, Gabriel Magalhaes and Aaron Ramsdale are among the players to have had their deals extended since the start of last season, and even more renewals are in the pipeline.

Negotiations with Tomiyasu's fellow right-back White are believed to be progressing positively, while Oleksandr Zinchenko could be the next in line for talks over improved terms.

Arsenal resume Premier League duties away to London rivals Brentford on Saturday lunchtime, where Bees loanee David Raya will not be able to face his parent club, opening the door for Ramsdale to start a top-flight game for the first time since September.

The Gunners sit third in the table and could rise to the summit by the end of the weekend if first-placed Manchester City and second-placed Liverpool play out a draw in their blockbuster lunchtime battle.

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