Arsenal could U-turn on statement with summer transfer as stance emerges

Mikel Arteta and Edu plan to reinforce the squad this summer.
-Credit: (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal handed out two four-year contracts last year and could already have to cash in on one of those players this summer.

Within 24 hours of each other last July, Reiss Nelson and William Saliba committed their long-term futures to the club. But since then, their situations have differed drastically.

After an untimely back injury curtailed Saliba's 2022/23 season, the central defender bounced back to play every minute of every match in the Premier League last term. A year on, it was Nelson whose season ended early after not featuring again after a rare start against Luton Town in early April.

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Now, after telling the club he wanted to assess his options this summer, Nelson favours a move away from Arsenal, per CBS. Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and West Ham United are clubs credited with an interest in the winger.

If the club do sanction a move, it will come the summer after sporting director Edu made known that Nelson "showed just how valuable he is to us" after returning to the first-team fold after loan spells at Hoffenheim and Feyenoord. It was also acknowledged he had "made a significant contribution to Arsenal for many years" before turning 24.

Mikel Arteta also explained that "Reiss knows how important he is to our squad with the quality he has" and "is a player I have admired since the first day I was here," describing Nelson as having "tremendous ability" and being "such an exciting offensive talent". The Arsenal manager also added they "look forward to enjoying many more good moments with him.” But those days may be numbered if Nelson does leave this summer.

The Athletic has previously claimed that the club would seek £20 million for the former England youth international. Such a sum would be a welcome boost to Arsenal's future compliance with the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules. Selling an academy graduate such as Nelson allows any fee a club receives to appear as 'pure profit' in their accounts.