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Arsenal risk losing five players for nothing in 2024 as £27m transfer deal struck

Arsenal risk losing five players for nothing in 2024 as £27m transfer deal struck

Arsenal has recently excelled in contract negotiations, yet there are potentially up to five first-team players who might become free agents in 2024 when their contracts expire.

Over the past year, with the leadership of manager Mikel Arteta, sporting director Edu Gaspar, and director of football operations Richard Garlick, who primarily handles contract negotiations for both current and new players, Arsenal has successfully secured the futures of several vital players.

To be precise, Captain Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, and Reiss Nelson have all extended their contracts in the past year. 

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Additionally, Arsenal is reportedly considering a new contract for Ben White.

However, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of other senior players whose contracts are entering their final eight months at the Emirates Stadium. 

This situation doesn’t necessarily have negative implications, as Arteta might be open to letting some players go or could be evaluating whether to activate one-year extension options.

In any case, decisions regarding these players will need to be made in the upcoming months, and the following are the players in question.

Jorginho

The Italian international joined Arsenal in January for a £12 million transfer from Chelsea, signing a short-term contract that runs until the end of the current season. 

However, his contract includes a one-year extension option, and it’s uncertain whether this option will be exercised.

There’s a strong possibility that Jorginho may opt to leave in pursuit of regular first-team opportunities. 

Notably, his agent, Joao Santos, hasn’t dismissed the notion of a return to Italy next summer. 

Furthermore, he is reportedly a target for Xavi Hernandez as Barcelona seeks to strengthen their midfield depth.

Mohamed Elneny

Although Mohamed Elneny signed a new contract at the beginning of this year, his current deal will come to an end at the close of the season. This means that he will be eligible to enter discussions with foreign clubs starting in January.

With the addition of Declan Rice in the summer, it’s possible that the Egyptian international may not see much playing time on the field. However, his contributions and influence off the pitch are highly valued by the team.

“It’s totally deserved. It’s an absolute joy to have him at the club,” Arteta said after the 31-year-old signed a new contract earlier in the year. “I think what the club has done is absolutely brilliant, it’s not just with words that we say we value the people that we have and we stick together in difficult moments.

“Mo had a really difficult moment a few weeks ago when he had a pretty big injury, a serious injury and the club committed with him for what he gives to the team, for what he’s done for this football club. I think it’s a really strong message by everybody at the club to try to keep our best people and our best players with us in challenging moments.”

Whether these contributions are sufficient to secure another contract extension for the 31-year-old remains uncertain. It’s possible that the club’s longest-serving player might have to say an emotional farewell when his current contract expires.

Cedric Soares

It may not have come as a big surprise that Cedric Soares remained an Arsenal player when the summer transfer window closed. 

Reports from football.london had indicated that he was eager to stay with the club despite interest from other teams, with the intention of competing for a spot after his loan spell at Fulham in the second half of the previous season.

The fact that he was included in both Arsenal’s Premier League and UEFA Champions League squads suggests that he could still have a role to play, especially if there is a shortage of full-backs. 

However, it’s challenging to envision the Portuguese defender making a convincing case for a new contract, considering the limited minutes he received, such as the brief appearance against Brentford in the Carabao Cup.

Runar Alex Runarsson

Runar Alex Runarsson, who had a clause in his contract, briefly rejoined Arsenal over the summer after a loan spell in Turkey with Alanyaspor. 

He even traveled with the squad for pre-season matches in Germany and the United States, despite it being evident that he wasn’t in Arteta’s immediate plans.

Since then, the Iceland international has been loaned to Cardiff City, where he hasn’t made a significant impact so far. 

Unless he can deliver some standout performances to raise his market value, it would be unexpected for Arsenal to exercise the option to extend his contract by another year.

Arthur Okonkwo

A pattern seems to be emerging regarding Arsenal goalkeepers. The previous summer was a pivotal one for Arthur Okonkwo since his contract, which he signed before the 2021/22 season when he was promoted to the first team, is set to expire next year, and there doesn’t seem to be a clause for an extension included.

The decision to loan him to Wrexham appears somewhat curious, as it may have caused them to miss the opportunity to secure a transfer fee for him. Nevertheless, it appears that a parting of ways is likely in the summer of 2024, as the talented goalkeeper may seek a fresh start elsewhere.

David Raya

The situation for the summer signing, David Raya, is quite distinct from the previous five players mentioned. 

Raya is currently on loan at Arsenal for the 2023/24 season, with the deal that brought him to the Emirates Stadium from Brentford reportedly valued at £3 million, according to football.london.

Arsenal does hold the option to make Raya’s transfer permanent for a fee of £27 million in the following summer if all parties agree. 

Early indications suggest that this is likely to occur, especially given Raya’s performance, which has seen him displace Aaron Ramsdale as the starting goalkeeper. 

However, it’s important to note that a change in form or a change of plans could see the Spaniard leave the Emirates and not return.

Arsenal risk losing five players for nothing in 2024 as £27m transfer deal struck

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