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Arsenal transfer news: £25m target boost, Arteta hopeful on new £30k-a-week deal for starlet

Arsenal are reportedly willing to pay £25m for Chris Smalling to meet Man Utd’s valuation, while they’re hopeful Bukayo Saka will commit his long-term future.

Despite being down in ninth place in the Premier League table, the Gunners will still hold hope of securing Champions League qualification for next season.

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Eight points now separate them and fourth-placed Chelsea, albeit they do have a game in hand in midweek against Manchester City.

Time will tell if they can secure a top-four finish or not, while they remain in the hunt for the FA Cup too as Mikel Arteta looks to salvage something from the campaign.

However, plans could already be in motion for the summer to strengthen the squad, with The Sun reporting that Arsenal are willing to meet Smalling’s £25m price-tag, and in turn will potentially fend off rivals Tottenham in the battle for his signature.

Smalling, 30, has impressed during his loan spell with Roma this season, and if he’s unlikely to make a breakthrough on his return to Man Utd this summer, perhaps a permanent exit would suit all parties.

With Arsenal needing to shore up their backline, a move for the experienced England international could be a smart move, albeit £25m is a big fee, but time will tell if they can seal a transfer.

Meanwhile, The Sun also add that Arteta is hopeful that Saka will pen a new contract with his current deal set to expire in 2021.

The 18-year-old has been impressive this season, and has been particularly useful for the Spanish tactician as he has been deployed at left-back to fill in for others.

It’s noted that he’s in line to get a new £30,000-a-week contract which is 10 times what he’s earning now, and Arteta is quoted as saying that he’s hopeful the situation will be resolved to result in Saka committing his long-term future to the Gunners.

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