Arsenal believe they may have to qualify for a European competition to convince Bukayo Saka to sign an extension, according to reports.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2020, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Times claim Arsenal fear Bukayo Saka may not sign an extension with the club if they fail to qualify for a European competition next season.

The Gunners are in talks with the player’s representatives over a new deal. This would replace his £3,000-a-week contract, lasting for the next 18 months. Saka believes playing for a club with European football is the best thing for his development though.

Over the weekend, Saka told the media: “I just leave all that (contract) stuff to my agent and my parents. Do I want to stay? Like I said, it’s for my agent. They’re sorting it out.

“Of course, I’m enjoying my football, enjoying playing under the new coach. So we’ll see what happens.”

As a result, it’s hard not to see these latest claims as agent tactics. If Saka really is just leaving the negotiations to his representatives, he probably isn’t having much input into the things being leaked to the press.

Alternatively, The Times are just guessing what Saka might want. That’s always just as likely in these contract standoffs, where you’ll hear a hundred different claims before the player’s actual decision comes out.

Either way, it would be a good idea for Arsenal to work on qualifying for European competition. That’ll only increase the draw of the club and the amount of money they have to offer. A win over Olympiacos tonight would make a good start.