Arteta welcomes Zinchenko to Arsenal after Man City move
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Arsenal have been warned that Bukayo Saka would jump at the chance to join Liverpool or Manchester City if they are unable to strike an agreement to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium in the not-too-distant future. Saka has established himself as one of Mikel Arteta’s most important squad members over the last few years and is expected to play a pivotal role for Gunners in their bid to seal Champions League qualification over the course of next season.
The England ace remains tied down until the summer of 2024 but is said to have been locked in talks over an extension to his current deal for some time. However, Arsenal could end up losing Saka at some point over the next 12 months if they fail to challenge for a top-four finish once the new campaign gets underway, according to former Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.
“I like who they have added, [Gabriel] Jesus and [Oleksandr] Zinchenko, I just think he [Saka] isn’t in a major rush to sign,” Kenny told Football Insider when quizzed on the player’s situation in north London.
“If Arsenal didn’t get into the Champions League this season I wouldn’t be surprised if he is looking for a move. He would be looking for a move to a regular Champions League team like Liverpool or Man City, even Chelsea.
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“It would have to be someone who is more or less guaranteed Champions League football. It is a tough one because he still has years left on his deal and whoever comes in will have to pay top dollar.
“He will definitely want to get out if they don’t get into the Champions League, that’s what the club will promise him.”
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to secure Saka’s long-term future over the coming weeks as they look to wrap up negotiations over his proposed new deal as a matter of urgency. The 20-year-old registered 42 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions last season, chipping in with 12 goals and seven assists in the process.
Arsenal director Edu has already raised questions over the length of Saka’s stay at the club, though, by insisting that he will be looking to immediately replace the winger if he is sold to another team at some point down the line.
“Part of the plan is when you are starting to sell the players, that’s the challenging one,” Edu told football.london earlier this month.
“You already need someone prepared. [If we can] sell, [and] we are able to do that and then chapeau. It’s very challenging. For example, let’s talk about next season or another.
“If we sell, I don’t know, Bukayo Saka, that’s not going to happen but it’s just an example. If we’re going to sell Bukayo Saka, we as a club have to prepare his replacement straight away.”
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