Bukayo Saka has handed Arsenal a major boost by revealing he is confident of signing a bumper new contract.
As Sportsmail revealed in July, the Gunners have offered the England international a new deal which would make him one of the club’s best paid players, worth at least double his current £70,000-per-week deal.
It is understood a full agreement over an extension is still to be reached with talks ongoing behind the scenes.
Nevertheless, head coach Mikel Arteta, whose team face Aston Villa on Wednesday, said earlier this month that he was confident Saka would commit his future to Arsenal.
And now when asked about his manager’s comments, Saka replied, “Yes, I share his confidence.” When pressed further, the forward simply added, “I share that confidence, that is it.”
The development will come as a huge boost to Arsenal, who have made tying the 20-year-old down to an extension a club priority.
Manchester City view Saka as a long-term target, Pep Guardiola a massive fan of the Arsenal academy graduate.
Indeed, Saka has ambitions to play in the Champions League and Arsenal’s failure to finish in the top-four last season complicated the Gunners’ attempts to agree a new deal.
But Arsenal, who are currently top of the table as the only club with a 100 percent record, look well equipped to finish in the top four this season which will excite Saka.
“It is a perfect start, we can’t say anything other than that but we know how difficult it is and we’re definitely focused on Aston Villa now – we need to come back here Wednesday, we are looking forward to playing in front of our fans again and hopefully we can win,’ added Saka.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have concerns over a hamstring problem suffered by Mohamed Elneny ahead of the visit of struggling Villa.
The Egyptian is being assessed but there is hope he is facing weeks, rather than months on the sidelines.
If Elneny’s injury is worse than feared, then Arsenal could make a late move in the transfer market for a midfielder ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
Thomas Partey is already set to miss the Villa game with a thigh strain, meaning Granit Xhaka and Albert Lokongo are Arteta’s only recognised central midfielders.
However, Oleksandr Zinchenko can play in midfield and is ready to return to the squad after missing Saturday’s win over Fulham with a slight knee issue.