'My biggest worry': Journalist fears two Arsenal stars could get poached by other clubs if they fail to make the top four
Talented forwards Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli need contract talks at Arsenal, according to journalist Charles Watts.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts said that the biggest fallout from the failure to qualify for the Champions League could be felt in contract negotiations.
Watts said that Saka is set for contract talks and Martinelli is in the same situation, but that the Gunners may find it hard to keep their top talent.
That is because they look set to remain away from Europe’s premier competition, unless Norwich beat Tottenham on Sunday.
Saka and Martinelli set for contract talks
Watts said: “In terms of not qualifying for the Champions League, Arsenal might have issues in terms of contracts and especially one particular contract, the big contract – Bukayo Saka. Two years left on his deal, Arsenal are going to need to be in deep, deep negotiations with him this summer – you would expect.
“That is the plan, that they will begin. When you look at a lack of Champions League football, the most difficult thing is getting Saka to renew. I’m not saying it’s impossible, far from it. Saka is so good and so talented and so many clubs are going to be after him.
“His agent will be fielding call after call after call – two years left, finding out what Saka’s position is. Is he going to sign? What’s his position? Are talks going on? If Arsenal were in the Champions League, it would be so much easier, these talks. Same as Martinelli, he’s in the same position, talks will have to happen with him.
“This is my biggest worry, getting some of the best young talented players to sign up without the Champions League. The Hale End tie, the players feel it but it can only last so long. You’ve got to live up to the ambition of these players. Hopefully he signs this deal when the talks happen this summer.”
Fabrizio Romano has reported that Arsenal are set for contract talks with Saka when the season ends, with the Daily Mail adding that the Gunners are prepared for complications if they miss out on the Champions League.
Mikel Arteta has built around young talent like Martinelli and Saka, and it would be a huge blow if either starlet held out on a new deal.
Saka is the biggest one. If Arsenal convince him to commit his long-term future, it would give the club a lift and perhaps convince others that things are moving in the right direction.
If he goes, Arsenal are back to the Arsene Wenger era of losing their top talent, but we are a long way off that stage yet.
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