Arsenal close to agreeing new Saliba contract – Arteta

Mikel Arteta mentioned Arsenal are edging nearer to agreeing a new contract with defender William Saliba, insisting “it is about timing, nothing else.”

The Gunners signed Saliba from Saint-Etienne for £27 million in 2019 however instantly despatched him on a sequence of loans, initially again to his former Ligue 1 membership earlier than spells at Nice and Marseille.

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It appeared at one stage that Saliba could by no means play for Arsenal however after profitable Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year with Marseille, the 22-yr-outdated was reintegrated into the primary-workforce squad final summer time and has been certainly one of their key gamers throughout an inconceivable Premier League title problem.

ESPN reported on Jan. 17 that the membership have been stepping up talks with Saliba, who has simply over a yr left on his present contract, after he had rejected their most up-to-date supply with the 2 events thought to be a way aside when it comes to the wage being proposed.

While admitting there was no public replace to present, Arteta allayed fears the scenario had stalled once more when talking on Friday forward of Arsenal’s essential weekend journey to Newcastle.

“We want to keep our best talent,” he mentioned. “Especially the players that deserve some recognition. I think he has been incredible since he came back from his loan period and we want to reward him, that is for sure. We will find the right moment to do that.

“Obviously [technical director] Edu and the board are on prime of each negotiation relating to new contracts and now we’re doing every thing we presumably can to do this in the best second on the proper time.

“The communication and the relationship is super. It is about timing, I think. Nothing else.”

Saliba has been sidelined since March 16 with a again damage and he’ll miss Sunday’s recreation at St James’ Park.

However, Arteta refused to rule the Frenchman out for the season.

“We are not there yet today, because we’re always hopeful and players are pushing to play,” he added.

“If that’s the case at some stage we’ll announce it. But hopefully that’s not the case. [There is] not a lot of progress. He’s feeling better every day but he’s not been able still to have any activity around the first team so we don’t expect him to be with us [at Newcastle].”

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