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Mikel Arteta reacts to William Saliba’s contract extension saga amid top clubs linked

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Mikel Arteta boss has responded to concerns that impressive French defender William Saliba may not sign a new deal at Arsenal, with the futures of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli also eyed

Mikel Arteta has addressed fears that William Saliba may not sign a new contract at Arsenal. Saliba is one of three key players who have their contracts up at the Emirates Stadium in the next 20 months, with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli also nearing the end of their deals.

The Gunners will be keen to retain their key trio, who are among some of the brightest young talents in Europe. Saliba confirmed after the win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend that he was in discussions over a new deal, telling the Evening Standard “Yeah, we will see. They [Arsenal and my agent] talk a little bit.”

Saka and Martinelli have been at Arsenal for a long time and have said said that they feel at home at Arsenal. Saka recently dropped a new contract hint by investing in an executive box at the Emirates Stadium, while Martinelli has previously commented on spending his entire career at the Gunners.

There have been some concerns that Saliba may be harder to keep as he doesn’t have a long-term connection with Arsenal, like Saka and Martinelli do – despite signing for the club in 2019.

“I don’t know,” Arteta told football.london when asked if tying Saliba down to a new contract will take more work.

“I was really impressed and at the same time surprised when I spoke to him. Obviously the way the relationship started and he went on loan, and he came back, and he went again.

“If that was a bit of damage there, because obviously he had certain expectations and something happened, but again he was so committed and so focused just to play for Arsenal that I think it took all of us by a little bit of surprise. So if I look at how he talks about the club and how much he wants to be here, I have no doubts that he wants to continue to be here.”

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