Arsenal have opened talks over a new contract for midfielder Mohamed Elneny, whose deal expires at the end of the season.

Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) embraces Arsenal's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny as they celebrate on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) embraces Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny as they celebrate on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

David Ornstein reports for The Athletic that whilst Arsenal are yet to present fresh terms to Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah at this stage, they have started to negotiate with Mohamed Elneny.

The Gunners have reportedly opened talks with the Egypt international over an extension, and they’re hopeful an agreement can be found.

As things stand, those talks are only at an initial stage, but Arsenal are determined to keep hold of the player. He’s popular with the squad and his experience and character are valued highly.

If Arsenal really are set to offer Elneny a new deal, then according to Elneny himself, he should be set to stick around.

The 29-year-old recently told the media: “If Arsenal say: ‘We want you’, I don’t think about leaving. It’s my family for six years. I love this club.

“The contract and stuff, I’m just waiting for the club to decide what they want.”

LONDON, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates scoring their side's second goal with teammates during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on May 08, 2022. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates scoring their side’s second goal with teammates during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on May 08, 2022. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

It’s a sharp turnaround from reports just a couple of months ago, when Fabrizio Romano reported that Elneny was expected to leave Arsenal this summer.

Football.London wrote in February that Elneny was being targeted by several European clubs following his performances for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations. He’s previously drawn approaches from Fenerbahce and Besiktas.

In January, Elneny was also drawing interest from Saudi Arabia for a potential free transfer in the summer.

All of that was before he broke back into the team. When he’d spent three consecutive months on the bench, it did seem inevitable he’d leave.

Now that he’s on the back of four starts in a row, and likely to make another two or three before the season ends, it’s a different story.

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