Following reports in the last few days, Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal are planning to hold contract extension talks with Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) speaks witj Arsenal's English midfielder Bukayo Saka (L) during the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 13, 2022. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) speaks with Arsenal’s English midfielder Bukayo Saka (L) during the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 13, 2022. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking in his pre-Wolves press conference, Mikel Arteta confirmed that Arsenal will hold talks with Bukayo Saka’s camp over a new contract.

“It is a conversation we are going to have with the player, then his agent, his family — [talks] which are going to be extremely important as well — so everybody is on board,” Arteta said.

“Obviously, our desire is to keep Bukayo as long as possible, because we are really happy. He is part of our club, our DNA, he is growing, he is maturing.

“His importance in the team is unquestionable and we want to keep our best talent, that’s for sure.”

The Athletic previously reported that a new contract for Bukayo Saka is a priority, following Football.London’s claims this week that Arsenal will look to reward Saka’s progress by offering him an extension at the end of the season.

The winger currently has a deal lasting to 2024, but his new contract would reflect his role as one of the team’s key players.

But the Daily Mail add that concerns are growing about Arsenal’s ability to tie Saka down without Champions League football.

Arsenal are ready and willing to offer Saka a big pay-rise, but that won’t be the only factor in the player’s decision.

The Mail claim it will be “significantly harder” to extend Saka’s deal if Arsenal don’t finish in the top four.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on December 26, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
NORWICH, ENGLAND: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on December 26, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

One of the benefits of Arsenal’s recent trimming of the squad, with more departures expected in the summer, is that they have more money to play with in contract negotiations.

The finances shouldn’t be an issue, but there are no guarantees Arsenal will make the top four, which leaves the outcome of those negotiations up in the air.

Saka is Arsenal’s joint-leading goal contributor this season, with 10 goals and assists in the Premier League and one in the League Cup.

That puts him level with Emile Smith Rowe, who signed a contract extension of his own in the summer.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.