Thursday, June 1, 2023

“It’s about timing” – Arteta confident Saliba will sign new deal

Mikel Arteta has allayed fears that Arsenal are struggling to negotiate a new deal with William Saliba claiming “it is about timing, nothing else.”

The Gunners activated a clause in January extending the France international’s current contract until the summer of 2025 but they are keen to reward him for his impressive season with a bumper pay rise while also keeping other suitors at bay.

Signed from Saint-Etienne for £27 million in 2019, the defender had to wait three years to make his Premier League bow having spent three separate spells on loan in Ligue 1 with former club Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille.

Saliba featured in every league game up until mid-March but has since missed seven matches with a back injury that threatens to rule him out for the rest of the season.

His presence has been missed, underlining how quickly he has become an integral part of Arteta’s starting lineup.

“We want to keep our best talent,” said Arteta ahead of the trip to Newcastle.

“Especially the players that deserve some recognition. I think he has been incredible since he came back from his loan period and we want to reward him, that is for sure. We will find the right moment to do that.

“Obviously [sporting director] Edu and the board are on top of every negotiation regarding new contracts and now we are doing everything we possibly can to do that in the right moment at the right time.

“The communication and the relationship is super. It is about timing, I think. Nothing else.”

Arsenal are similarly relaxed about Bukayo Saka’s future with the player understood to have agreed to the terms of his new deal.

Both should be announced when the club’s financial year ends on 31 May.

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Johnny 4 Hats

We comfortably have the best CB pairing in the league. And they are 25 and 22.

Throw all the money at him and get him tied down for 6 years.

I noticed the other day that Gabriel is only on 75k. He needs to be on six figures too.

Get it done and our future is so, so bright.


Didn’t Gabriel just sign a new contract

Johnny 4 Hats

Gosh, you’re right. But he’s still estimated to be earning between 50-60k a week. Can that be right?

The boardroom has him as our 17th most expensive wage, behind Mo fricking Elneny.

Wow. Cheap date.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Saliba’s absence more than anything has proved that he deserves a massive pay rise

Merlin’s Panini

Securing his future at the club should be a priority. He’s been our biggest loss by far since his injury, compounded by Tomiyasu’s. Those two are the biggest losses of the season for us. Naturally I would want to see Ben White playing CB for the rest of the season if Saliba is out, but then we have no RB cover. A crazy circumstance when not so long ago it was our most oversubscribed position with Bellerin, Chambers, AMN, Cedric etc. It’s sad we can’t rely on Tomi to stay fit because he’s superb. The frequency of his injury issues… Read more »

Man Manny

Yes, and I think Arteta might be willing to look for an alternative; CL and EPL title challenge next season will demand player who are not injury prone.


I’m pretty sure the extension we triggered took his deal until June 2024, not 2025?


Yeah I got excited when I saw that but I think you are right.


If he doesn’t sign will it be worth it to keep him for his last year and let him walk for free? I think yes.

Man Manny

That would be madness! Sell him and get someone else.


If we come out of this season with Marti (done), saka and Saliba all signed up I will be very happy. My head started spinning the last few weeks about contracts again..
Declan rice or equivalent
Forward of some type
Cb cover
Tomi fit all season and to be left back plan b like pool game
And I think we will glide into phase 4.


Arsenal may be admirers of Declan Rice, but I struggle to believe that they would pay £100M for him, or whatever the figure is that West Ham would demand for his services. Yes, he’s a good player, maybe even a very good one. But there are other players out there just as good, if not better, than he is, and they can probably be bought for a much cheaper price too. Given that we don’t have unlimited transfer funds, and have had plenty of time to scout & monitor suitable alternatives, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we decide… Read more »


I think they would. If they were ready to go to 80m for Mudryk I reckon they’d be fine with going a bit over that for a player who’s a similar talent at his position but with the slight difference of already being a proven Premier League star with significant international experience.

That said I’d still rather go a bit further and get Bellingham.


I’d love Bellingham also. Sounds like he’s off to Madrid. More power to him. As a young Englishman keeping far away from the local media seems wise in the extreme


I agree. I have a feeling he may be a backup option to someone else, no point spending half of the total budget on one player when we need,

a wide forward
a big striker
a backup centre back
another backup left back probably
a cdm
a backup to Odegaard

That said Rice would add something to this team and would be exciting to see him in an Arsenal shirt.


Viera is ode bkup

Emi Rates

I can see it now. Arsenal offers 100 million for Rice with Tadd Bollock popping up everywhere like an all guns gazumping whackamole.


Who’s gonna want to sign for Chelsea this summer?


Rice is a Chelsea fan.

Mayor McCheese

I’m wild about Rice. I think Rice would look good near White or on the side, but if he goes to Chelsea, I hope he goes off the boil!

Eric Blair

Have to be careful about the price, don’t want West Ham to pilau the wool over our eyes. We’d be basmati to spend 100m on him.


100m seems a bit much, and we have quite a few signings to make

The prices are inflated from Chelsea and Man U overpaying for people who have done little to justify their price tags


It would nearly be easier if caicedo was number 1 target. If Rice isn’t sealed behind the scenes now and united, pool and even chelsea enter the race it could be a long drawn out saga.
I like Rice, I think arteta would love him. Kind of in the xhaka mold run through a wall for a manager kinda player. You need one or two of them in every great team

A Different George

“There are other players out there just as good, if not better, than he is . . . for a much cheaper price.”

I bet Edu wishes he knew who they are–because any obvious candidate will be known by every big club and therefore expensive. There are surely young prospects who you can take a chance on and some of them will turn out to be brilliant (Saliba and Martinelli)–but not immediately, not next year which is when Arsenal need them.

Eric Blair

I think you’re right, if we’re trying to ‘outsmart the market’ that doesn’t sound too clever.

At that price (100m) we’d want a transformational player, think Odegaard, Jesus, Saliba. I don’t know enough about Rice but the consensus seems to be he isn’t that kind of player. He strikes me as a player Man City would pick up at that price as a squad rotational player ala Grealish.

Cranky Colin

Huge moment here. Getting the contract done.
We can all now see how important he is to our defensive security and an eye for a pass.

Man Manny

Sometimes, I wonder how things work in Planet Football. Why would a contract negotiation between two parties who are purported to be willing to – and in fact, loving

Man Manny

Sometimes, I wonder how things work in Planet Football. Why would a contract negotiation between two parties who are purported to be willing to continue – and in fact, one party loving life here at the Emirates – drag on this long. I honestly think there is a snag somewhere. If body language is anything to go by, either Saliba loves it here, or he would be an instant hit in Hollywood. There should a quick resolution one way or another so the club know where they stand. If it comes to selling him, he will attract a large enough… Read more »


What a horrible time for both team and Saliba for his back injury…could it be long term? On another note, Big Sam is a badass chess player! I just read the article by Keown about Big Sam. It made me think…I agree with some parts of what blogs also wrote about him but he is a badass! Look at what he just did…he said to the football world: “ I am a badass world class manager. I am going to prove it with this team. They are damn well going to prove it as they prove who and what they… Read more »

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