Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal have held talks with Eddie Nketiah, as they try to convince him to stay at the club beyond his current contract.
Amid all the recent talk about Eddie Nketiah’s contract, Mikel Arteta insists the club rate the youth striker highly, and they want him to stay.
Nketiah is well into the final year of his deal, but Arteta told his pre-Southampton press conference the club are in talks with the player and his agent.
“Well, Eddie has six months left in his contract,” Arteta said.
“We are having some discussions with him and his agent. I would like him to stay at the club. He’s our player and someone that we rate. He has the Arsenal DNA in his blood. His reason [of rejecting] is that he wants to play more football.”
Sky Sports were the first to report that Nketiah had rejected another contract offer from Arsenal last week.
They wrote on Wednesday that the young striker’s decision wasn’t motivated by finances, but a lack of first-team opportunities.
The Athletic then confirmed the story, reporting that Arsenal offered Nketiah an extension on Tuesday, only for him to reject it on Wednesday.
The same outlet claims that there’s plenty of interest in Nketiah, with Borussia Monchengladbach, Nice, and clubs from Italy after the 22-year-old.
All of those clubs will be able to talk to Nketiah in the January transfer window over a pre-contract agreement to join them on a free transfer in the summer, when his Arsenal deal ends.
The good news is that if Nketiah joins an English club, Arsenal look set to get at least some form of compensation.
The compensation tribunal requires that the club make Nketiah a contract offer before he leaves, which they clearly now have.
But it seems as though Arteta really does still want to keep the striker.
The Arsenal manager has been substituting Nketiah on again in recent matches, and he’s clearly on board with the recent contract offers. Those offers may well be more than just a way of bringing in some extra compensation.