Mikel Arteta has admitted that qualifying for the Champions League this season could be crucial in tying down Bukayo Saka to a new Arsenal contract. The Gunners manager’s side take on Wolves tonight at Molineux lying sixth in the Premier League table, four points outside the top four.
England star Saka’s current £35,000 a week contract runs out in 2024, and Arsenal are desperate to tie the 20 year old down to a new, lucrative deal.
Liverpool have been linked with the exciting youngster, and as well as a summer spending spree, signing up Saka is another priority for the club.
But which European competition Arsenal are playing in next season could be the key to whether the England star can be persuaded to stay.
Arteta said: “Obviously our desire is to keep Bukayo as long as possible.
“He is part of our club, our DNA, he is growing, he is maturing. His importance in the team is unquestionable and we want to keep our best talent at the club.
“It is a conversation that we are going to have with the player, then with his agent, with his family- so everybody is on board.”
But getting into the top four could be key, the Spaniard admitted: “Everything helps, because the financial position is going to be determined by how good we are, where we finish.
“That will help our sponsorship, our marketing, our ticketing sales. Where it starts is how good we do on that pitch.”
Arteta admitted that he does not not want any new signings that arrive in the summer blocking the way for any more promising Arsenal youngsters.
The Gunners manager said: “It’s trying to build a squad where you have room for those players to develop.
“If you sign three top players, and those kids start not playing, what happens? You cannot have it both ways. If you sign big players, with big money, the money has to be on the pitch – which means those players are not going to be on the pitch.
“We need to find the balance, with the standards this club requires. This is what we are trying to do, but without killing what is growing.”
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