Arteta signs new deal and reveals Arsenal stars wanted assurances he would stay

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Mikel Arteta believes his new contract will clear up any doubts over Arsenal's future direction and be a major factor in the club's recruitment and retention drive.

The manager has committed to a two-year contract extension at Emirates Stadium, with his previous deal having run to the end of next season.

It means he is now set to stay at Arsenal until 2025, ensuring stability at the club.

Arteta revealed a number of Arsenal stars had been asking him about his future before he committed to an extended stay, with the announcement coming from the club on Friday.

Asked when the players learned the news, Arteta said: "They found out this morning. Some of them had been asking me in the last few months because they had questions about their individual futures.

"I want zero distraction about that. It's clear for the future."

Arsenal sit fourth in the Premier League and are looking to lock down a top-four finish to ensure a return to the Champions League, having last featured in that competition in the 2016-17 season.

They face Leeds United on Sunday, with Arteta hoping a feel-good factor can carry Arsenal towards their goals.

"I'm delighted, because from both sides we have shown a real commitment of what we want to do together in this beautiful journey," he said of his new deal.

"The plans and the vision that we shared are the reason why I'm doing it, and I think the club is doing it because we share the same belief, the same passion, and the same level of trust about each other and how we're doing it, and I'm really excited about what we can do together."

Speaking in a news conference, Arteta said: "The club was so decisive and committed to do it now.

"They wanted to bring clarity starting from ownership about what we were doing and show the stability and commitment to the project, and don't have to worry in the summer about any of that. When we want to recruit players or keep the players we want, they can see a clear path in the future and there is no question mark.

"I'm extremely happy here, and this job is still a lot to do."

Arteta indicated he was offered his new deal after the run of losses to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton in April.

That has been followed by wins over Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham, and now lowly Leeds await, with Jesse Marsch's team battling to avoid sliding into the Championship.

The Emirates Stadium clash is therefore a high-stakes affair for both sides.

"It's a lot to play for, and obviously the situation they are in, they're going to show how much they want to get out of that zone as quick as possible," Arteta said.

"For us, it's the defining moment in the season, after everything we've done, so we want to capitalise on what we've done in the last nine or 10 months."

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