Arsenal remain on the lookout for a new striker this summer but Mikel Arteta has already secured a much-needed boost as Eddie Nketiah appears to have extended his contract
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The striker, 23, has been on the club’s books since arriving in 2015 – shortly after his release by Chelsea – but his deal runs out at the end of June. Nketiah came close to leaving the Gunners during the January transfer window amid interest from West Ham and Crystal Palace before ultimately staying put at the Emirates.
This proved to be an excellent decision for club and player alike as Arsenal’s No. 30 scored five goals in their final seven Premier League games of the season. This convinced Mikel Arteta that Nketiah deserves improved terms to keep him in North London for next campaign and beyond, which the Lewisham native is believed to have accepted.
While the agreement was reportedly struck in late May, there has been no official announcement with a matter of weeks remaining until Nketiah will become a free agent. However, in a fresh hint the new deal will be confirmed imminently, the former England Under-21 star has been included in a social media post previewing Arsenal’s pre-season friendly against German club Nurnberg on 8 July.
Nketiah features on the promotional content alongside Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel – three players who regularly feature in the starting XI under Arteta. This strongly suggests the contract extension is on the verge of being announced and the Gunners may simply be waiting until Nketiah has returned from holiday to do so, with pre-season training starting on 27 June.
His proposed new deal is expected to be worth £100,000 per week and tie him down until 2027, while there is a £5million bonus to be paid across those five years. This means the total package is worth a cool £29million, meaning the Gunners have sanctioned a significant outlay on the centre-forward.
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Which striker should Arsenal sign this summer to compete with Eddie Nketiah for a starting role? Have your say in the comments!
Arsenal fans will certainly be hoping Nketiah commits his future to the club as his departure would leave them without a recognised senior striker. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left for Barcelona in January and Alexandre Lacazette will follow his former strike partner out the Emirates at the end of June.
The Gunners are still expected to enter the market for a new centre-forward regardless of the situation surrounding Nketiah. Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, Lille’s Jonathan David and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus are among those who have been linked with Arsenal in recent weeks.