Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confessed that he expects to be able to confirm teenage starlet Bukayo Saka has signed a new contract in the near future.
The 18-year-old, who has enjoyed an outstanding breakthrough campaign on the left flank for the Gunners, has just one year remaining on his current contract and has been in talks over a new deal for what feels like an eternity.
With negotiations dragging on, pretty much every big side in Europe had expressed an interest in landing Saka, with Liverpool the most recent threat for Arsenal, but Arteta confirmed in a press conference (via football.london) that Saka is finally close to putting pen to paper.
“I am very positive that everything is going to be done with Bukayo very shortly,” the boss said. “The communication between the club, agents and the family has been going on for months and it’s very fluent.
“The player and the family knows how much trust I have in him, I think he’s showing that every week and his consistency levels are getting better and better.
“I’m so excited with the young players that we have, they just need the right environment around them to explode and Bukayo is doing that even in difficult circumstances which is even more merit for him.”
The Daily Mail add that there are only a few minor details left to finalise on the new contract, which will see Saka receive a significant pay rise compared to his current £3,000-a-week deal.
The news will come as a blow not only to Liverpool, but to the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund, all of whom had been tipped to try and lure Saka away from the Emirates Stadium for a bargain-bin price.
The academy graduate, who made his debut for Arsenal in a Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava back in November 2018, has made 31 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions this season.
Primarily a winger, Saka was turned into a left-back by interim boss Freddie Ljungberg to help cope with an injury crisis, and his performance was so impressive that Arteta opted to keep the teenager there.
He has been a shining light in an otherwise disappointing campaign for Arsenal, and he now seems set to follow David Luiz in penning a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.