Arsenal struggle to keep Bukayo Saka without Champions League qualification

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Arsenal may struggle to convince Bukayo Saka to sign a new contract at the Emirates Stadium if he fails to qualify for the Champions League next season.

After occupying fourth place in the Premier League for much of the season, the Gunners slipped to sixth place thanks to a sharp drop in form which also saw them exit the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Mikel Arteta’s side have games in progress at Manchester United and West Ham above them, but of course there’s no guarantee they’ll pick up maximum points.

According to Daily mailArsenal are keen to continue their squad overhaul after their impressive run last summer and string of departures in January, and a new contract for Saka is one of them.

New signings such as Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu have shone, while the North Londoners have moved several unwanted fringe players on loan or permanently in the past seven months, as well as former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had lost Arteta’s trust after one too many disciplinary breaches and left for Barcelona in January.

Arsenal want to bring in two new strikers, a central midfielder and a covering right-back for Tomiyasu, as well as extend Saka’s current contract which expires in 2024.

However, Saka’s willingness to write new terms – as well as the success of all of Arsenal’s transfer business – may well hinge on whether or not they qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Arsenal plan to offer the 20-year-old a significant pay rise but it is said that money will not be a deciding factor for his future.

Liverpool and both Manchester clubs have been linked with the England international, who has arguably been the Gunners’ most consistent performer since Arteta took over in 2019.

Arsenal missed out on a number of transfer targets in January – including Dusan Vlahovic and Bruno Guimaraes – and it looks like they might need a top-four spot to avoid a repeat this summer.

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