Arsenal plan to use player’s sale to ‘fund Bukayo Saka’s new contract’

Arteta 'in pain' after Arsenal miss out on Champions League

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Arsenal will use some of the money they get for selling Nicolas Pepe on a new contract for Bukayo Saka, reports claim. Pepe looks likely to leave the Emirates this summer after making just five Premier League starts this season.

The club-record signing failed to build on a successful end to the 2020/21 campaign. His last top-flight start came in October and he is set to push for a move away in the upcoming window.

Pepe has recently changed agent and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says in his column for Caught Offside that the reason for that is to help get a transfer this summer. Arsenal are going to have to take a big loss on the £72million they paid Lille for Pepe in 2019.

But Romano says whatever money they do get for Pepe will go towards Saka’s new contract. Saka’s current deal expires in 2024 and he has been linked with a move to the likes of Liverpool.

The England international has been the club’s most consistent performer this season and ends the campaign as the leading goalscorer in all competitions. However, Arsenal will not want the 20-year-old to enter the final two years of his contract.

Therefore they may hope to sell Pepe as soon as possible to help bring forward a deal for Saka. Following the 5-1 win over Everton on Sunday, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted individual players already know their situation heading into the summer window.

He said: “From my side, I will do and the club will do what we have to do and what we think is the best thing for the club to move forward and do it with the integrity and the honesty that we’ve always done it [with]. Those players know individually their situation, when it’s going to be communicated, and then that situation happens face to face the way that they deserve.”

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Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract this summer. Arteta says a decision has already been made on the pair’s future but the time was not right to communicate it.

Meanwhile, it appears Mohamed Elneny will be staying at the club. Elneny was also due to be out of contract at the end of June but it has been reported he has now signed a one-year extension with the option of a further year.

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