Arsenal secured a close 1-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday (February 25) to continue their siege on the Premier League. Mikel Arteta’s team next face Everton at the Emirates on Wednesday (March 1) in the league.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are locked in battle with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool for the services of a Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder. Elsewhere, the north London side are working to extend Granit Xhaka’s stay.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on February 27, 2023:
Arsenal in battle for Alexis Mac Allister
Arsenal are battling Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool for the services of Alexis Mac Allister, according to The Daily Star.
The Argentinean midfielder has become a household name since helping La Albiceleste win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Arteta is planning to upgrade his options in midfield this summer and has set his sights on Mac Allister.
The 24-year-old has also been impressive for Brighton & Hove Albion in the current campaign, managing seven goals in 21 games across competitions. Despite already signing Jorginho in January, Arteta wants Mac Allister to help take the club to a higher level. However, the Gunners face competition from City and the Blues, as well as the Reds, for the player’s signature.
Gunners working on Granit Xhaka extension
Arsenal are locked in talks to extend Granit Xhaka’s stay at the Emirates, according to Football Insider.
The Swiss midfielder’s contract with the Gunners expires in the summer of 2024. The Gunners are desperate to avoid losing him for free and want to tie him down to a two-year deal.
Arteta sees the 30-year-old as a vital component of his plans at the Emirates and also appreciates his leadership qualities. He has appeared 30 times across competitions this season for the club, registering four goals and five assists.
Xhaka is reportedly happy with the north London giants and wants to continue his association with the club.
The Premier League leaders are working to tie key figures down to new deals at the Emirates. Arsenal have already extended Gabriel Martinell’s contract, while they’re also in talks to tie the likes of Bukayo Saka and William Saliba to new deals. Xhaka could be the next in line to be offered a new contract.
Bukayo Saka set for massive pay hike, says David Ornstein
Bukayo Saka is set to become the highest paid player at Arsenal, according to acclaimed journalist David Ornstein. The English forward is in the final 18 months of his contract with the Gunners. He has enjoyed an outstanding season so far, generating interest from clubs around Europe.
The north London side have been locked in negotiations for a while to extend Saka’s stay at the Emirates. Speaking on NBC Sports, as cited by Football Fancast, Ornstein said that Arsenal have reached an agreement to keep Saka at the Emirates.
“Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle with Bukayo Saka over a new long term contract, and that really is monumental. It hasn’t been signed yet. It may take some time just to finalise, complete and announce but that deal is now in place,” said Ornstein.
“We don’t know the exact duration, but I would expect it to be at least four years. He was under contract until 2024 via the last deal he signed in the summer of 2020. That actually took him to 2023, but Arsenal had an option to extend it by 12 months, which they did, but this new deal will supersede that, and we think that it will probably make him Arsenal’s highest paid player.”
“Many people would say rightly so, don’t forget this is a guy who if he was on the market, he would be of interest to some of the biggest clubs in world football. We saw the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City, Liverpool, all linked with him, but his priority was always to stay at Arsenal even while the negotiations dragged on.”
Saka has appeared 32 times across competitions for the Gunners this season, amassing ten goals and eight assists.
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