Arsenal ‘activate contract option’ to keep defender; Arteta coy on Mudryk amid Ballon d’Or claim

Arsenal keep Saliba Credit: Alamy
Arsenal keep Saliba Credit: Alamy

Arsenal have reportedly ‘activated an option’ in William Saliba’s contract that will automatically extend his deal on the same terms until 2024.

He has been in stunning form for Arsenal this term. He has returned to the club following his loan spells at Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille.

His future was in doubt in the summer but he has formed a superb partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes this season.

Saliba is one of the best young centre-backs in Europe and it is a priority for Arsenal to tie him down to a long-term deal.

They are keen to to the same with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli with both players due to be out of contract in 2024.

The defender’s deal was initially up next summer but they benefit from having the option to extend his stay for another year on the same terms.

David Ornstein of The Athletic has now confirmed that Arsenal have ‘activated this option’ so he is now under contract until 2024.

They note that ‘talks are continuing’ over a new long-term deal with fresh terms. When asked about Saliba on Friday, Arteta was confident that the centre-back “wants” to remain at the club.

“We have a few of those [young players] that we are willing to extend the contract,” said Arteta.

“Willy is one of them. I think he’s shown in the months that he’s been with us the quality and the personality he has to play at the level that we want. We are trying to do that because we know he can be a really important part of our plans.

“I hope [talks are progressing well]. That’s more to [sporting director] Edu and the board to be discussing with him. What I know is that the player is really happy, the player wants to be here and that’s the main thing.”

Another of Arsenal’s main aims is to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk in January from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

Arteta refused to discuss Arsenal’s chances of acquiring Mudryk when he was asked about the winger on Friday.

“I cannot talk about players that are not ours,” said Arteta.

The Gunners have already had one bid rejected for the 21-year-old ahead of January and they are expected to go back in with another offer.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi worked with Mudryk during their time together at Shakhtar. He thinks the forward is capable of eventually winning the Ballon d’Or.

“Mudryk is a fantastic player but Brighton can’t buy him – I like him, just like all my ex-players I like, but Brighton can’t buy Mudryk. Arsenal, I don’t know.

“I think Mudryk can win the Ballon d’Or in the future – I know the value of Mudryk, he has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or.”

READ MORE: Premier League winners and losers features both sides of Antonio Conte and Spurs


The article Arsenal ‘activate contract option’ to keep defender; Arteta coy on Mudryk amid Ballon d’Or claim appeared first on