Arsenal reportedly refused to insert a release clause into Bukayo Saka’s new contract and instead compromised by allowing the winger to sign a shorter contract extension. While the agreement was still reached over a long-term deal that will keep the England international at the club for the best years of his career, the Gunners were reluctant to present other clubs with the chance to prise Saka away from the Emirates Stadium via a big-money transfer fee.
Saka put pen-to-paper on his lucrative new contract earlier this week and will now remain integral to Mikel Arteta’s project.
And it has now emerged that the Gunners wanted to put extra precautions in place to ensure they keep hold of the 21-year-old moving forward.
The Mail are reporting that there were requests during the talks to include a release clause within the new contract.
But the Gunners opted against that and instead agreed to reduce the length of their initial proposal while still protecting the player’s value.
It also means should Saka wish to assess his options further down the line, the Gunners could look to cash in or instead offer the forward fresh terms.
Saka has had a sublime season, scoring 13 goals and registering 11 assists for the Gunners, who fell just short during their Premier League title charge following a late wobble.
Yet there will now be optimism Arsenal can challenge again moving forward, particularly with Saka’s future now resolved.
Arsenal have also handed out a new contract to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who has excelled during his second season in north London.
Talks remain ongoing with William Saliba and Arsenal are also looking to extend Martin Odegaard’s contract.
Speaking after signing his new deal, Saka told Arsenal’s website: “I’m just really happy. There’s been a lot of talking and it’s been a while, but I’m here now. I think this is the right club, the right place to make the next step. It’s a beautiful club – look where we are.
“For me, it’s about achieving my personal ambitions; how much I push myself and demand from myself each game, week in, week out.
“Then I have all the right people around me in terms of family, and when I come to the training ground, my teammates, the coaching staff.
“I think I have everything I need to become the best player I can be, and that’s why I’m happy to stay here and be here for the future, because I really believe that we can achieve big things.”
Mikel Arteta also added on his integral attacker: “It’s great for the club that Bukayo has extended his contract. Retaining our best young talents is key to our continued progress and Bukayo represents such an important part of our squad now and for the future.
“As well as being a fantastic talent, Bukayo is a special person, he’s loved by us all and he is a credit to himself and his family for the hard work and commitment they have all made to get to this level today.
“Together with our supporters, we’re so looking forward to enjoying Bukayo’s continued development with us in the years to come.”