Mikel Arteta hopeful William Saliba will sign new Arsenal contract as talks continue

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta is hopeful Arsenal will tie down William Saliba to a new contract, insisting the defender is "really happy" at the club.

Saliba is about to head into the final 18 months of his current deal and Arsenal are in talks with him over an extension.

That is one of a number of deals that Arsenal are working on, as they also want to agree fresh terms with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Arsenal’s sporting director Edu is leading the negotiations and asked if they are progressing well, Arteta said: “I hope so.

"That’s more to Edu and the board to be discussing with him (Saliba). What I know is that the player is really happy, the player wants to be here and that’s the main thing.

“We have a few of those that we are willing to extend the contract. 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.”

Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League and are back in action on New Year’s Eve when they travel to Brighton.

The Gunners got off to a good start after the World Cup break, beating West Ham 3-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Eddie Nketiah led the line that day, getting on the scoresheet, and he is set to do so for the next two months as Gabriel Jesus is out with a knee injury.

“That’s what we need from the players,” said Arteta. “We had a big blow with Gabi and not having him had a big impact on the team.

“We always said Eddie had the quality and he needed the opportunity to show that. He did it again on Saturday.”