Mikel Arteta to make Bukayo Saka’s future his top priority when he returns to Arsenal after coronavirus lay-off

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
The Arsenal head coach has been keeping busy during his two weeks of self-isolation (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta wants to nail down Bukayo Saka’s future as a matter of urgency when the squad reconvene after their self-isolation next week, according to reports.

The Gunners have been on lockdown since last Friday when Arteta tested positive for Covid-19 – the first Premier League figure to do so – and players and staff have been self-isolating since then.

Arteta has only displayed mild symptoms of the virus, with his wife, Lorena Bernal, providing an update on his condition over the weekend.

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‘My husband is feeling fine, he is well,’ she posted on social media. ‘He had symptoms of the virus but the symptoms would have never stopped him from going to work in a normal situation.

‘He would have just taken an ibuprofen or paracetamol and he would have gone to work so really, it’s nothing major. Some temperatures, some headaches but that’s it. That’s his experience.’

It appears Arteta has been keeping busy during his period of self-isolation, with The Telegraph reporting that he has drawn up a plan of action for when the squad return and has made contract talks with Saka a priority.

The England Under-19 international made his breakthrough this season, first under Unai Emery and then interim boss Freddie Ljungberg, but has really shone since working with Arteta.

Saka has played in all but one of Arsenal’s last 12 Premier League matches, usually out of position at left-back, and has racked up nine assists in all competitions.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Bukayo Saka
Arteta has been full of praise for Saka’s performances this season for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

However, he only has 15 months left on his current contract at the Emirates, earning around £7,000-a-week despite being a first-team regular now.

Arteta and Arsenal believe Saka has a great future in the sport and want to tie up his future as soon as possible, rather than risk losing him for nothing if he enters the final six months of his deal.

They are conscious that Saka’s excellent form has alerted a number of top clubs around Europe, who sense the teenager could be available for a bargain price, and will ramp up their efforts to get him to pen fresh terms.

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