Arsenal are reportedly ‘highly confident’ that academy goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo will sign a new long-term contract with the club.
According to Football London, the Gunners expect the 19-year-old youngster to pen a new deal with the north London side. Okonkwo’s contract with Arsenal officially ended this week on June 30th.
However, the north London side expects to tie the shot-stopper down long-term with a new contract. Okonkwo had attracted interest from clubs this summer.
As per the report, Okonkwo is regarded as one of Arsenal’s best youth players.
The keeper didn’t make a first-team appearance last season. But, the teenager was on the bench on multiple occasions for the Gunners, mainly in the UEFA Europa League.
Okonkwo could be handed first-team chances next season
Whilst Arsenal are seemingly on the hunt for a keeper this summer, there is a good chance Okonkwo could be handed chances in the first team for next season.
As per the Football London report, Alex Runarsson is assessing his options and the Icelandic keeper could leave on loan. There are also no updates regarding Mat Ryan, who is currently afree agent.
Indeed, Okonkwo could find himself starting for Arsenal in the likes of the League Cup and FA Cup should Mikel Arteta fail to sign a new goalkeeper this summer.
Arsenal have to tie other academy stars to new deals
Okonkwo is not the only Arsenal player who is currently in talks over a new deal. As per the Football London report, Karl Hein is also having discussions with the club about a potential contract. However, movement on that front has stalled.
Emile Smith Rowe is also in talks for a new contract with Arsenal. The 20-year-old playmaker was a star for the Gunners last season, and as per the Athletic, the midfielder is now a subject of interest from Aston Villa, who have had two bids rejected for the England youth star.
Indeed, the Gunners will need to do everything in their power to ensure both Smith Rowe and Hein remain with the club for the immediate future, with the duo two of Arsenal’s most exciting prospects.