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Arsenal 'to hold talks over new Jorginho contract'

Arsenal 'to hold talks over new Jorginho contract'
© Reuters
Arsenal reportedly plan to open talks with Jorginho over a new contract rather than triggering the 12-month extension in his existing deal.

Arsenal reportedly plan to open talks with the entourage of midfielder Jorginho over a new contract at the Emirates.

The Italy international arrived in North London from Chelsea during the last knockings of the January 2023 transfer window after the Gunners lost Mohamed Elneny to a season-ending knee injury.

Jorginho played second fiddle to the effective pairing of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in the second half of last season, but he still made nine Premier League starts as the Gunners finished second in the standings behind Manchester City.

While Xhaka left for Bayer Leverkusen and Partey's injury problems reared their ugly heads once more, Jorginho was seemingly set to continue in his bit-part role for 2023-24 thanks to the signings of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz in the summer window.

True enough, the 32-year-old has only made the starting lineup on six occasions in the 2023-24 Premier League season, but he has produced two man-of-the-match displays in victories over Liverpool and Newcastle United at the Emirates.

Arsenal midfielder Jorginho celebrates in February 2023© Reuters

Jorginho's excellent recent performances have inevitably led to speculation surrounding a possible extension at Arsenal, with whom his current deal runs until the end of the season, leaving him free to open talks with foreign clubs.

The midfielder's agent recently talked up a return to Serie A for the former Napoli and Hellas Verona lynchpin, but Arsenal can trigger a 12-month extension in his deal to retain his services until 2025.

However, the Evening Standard reports that the North London giants are instead preparing to discuss a brand new deal for Jorginho, rather than keeping him on the same terms by activating his one-year clause.

Agreeing a fresh deal instead of having his 12-month extension option triggered could put Jorginho in line for a pay rise, but the report does not mention whether his new terms would include a salary increase.

Mikel Arteta was quizzed on a possible new deal for Jorginho after his stellar display versus Liverpool, affirming that he was "really happy" with the midfielder but refusing to go into specifics over his contract situation.

Arsenal's Jorginho in action with Chelsea's Conor Gallagher on October 21, 2023© Reuters

The erstwhile Blues man has one goal and two assists under his belt from 42 matches in a Gunners jersey, but while he could remain at the Emirates for 2024-25, a couple of his fellow midfielders might depart.

Elneny's contract is also up at the end of the season, and unlike Jorginho, Arsenal did not insert a 12-month extension clause into the new terms of their longest-serving senior player, who was signed by Arsene Wenger in January 2016.

In addition, the injury-plagued Partey sees his deal run out in 2025, and Arsenal are allegedly planning to part ways with the 30-year-old this summer due to his perpetual fitness problems.

Partey has not played for Arteta's side since October due to a thigh operation, but the Ghana international could make his long-awaited comeback in Monday's Premier League clash with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

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Arsenal's Jorginho pictured on November 4, 2023
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