Mikel Arteta on new Arsenal contract It will happen

Mikel Arteta has dropped the strongest hint yet that he will sign a new contract at Arsenal by insisting he doesn’t “predict any issues happening” when talks take place.

The 42-year-old’s existing deal expires in the summer of 2025 and it was initially expected that negotiations would be held at the end of last season.

However, all parties have prioritised planning for the next campaign instead and Arteta has assembled nine players not involved in either Euro 2024 or the Copa América for a summer training camp in Marbella.

Speaking to ESPN from the Spanish city in an exclusive interview, Arteta said: “There is no update [on his contract] at the moment. The thing that hasn’t changed is how happy I am and how valued I feel here and how much I love representing this club.

“Things happen in a natural way and our relationship is that good that I don’t predict any issues happening. But things have to develop in the right way and it will happen.”

Pushed on whether clarity over his future would help demonstrate stability for future signings, Arteta continued: “I understand that but the focus now is ‘OK, how we can improve things around the team, how we can improve now the things in the transfer window that we have.’ We have time to sit down and discuss that.”

Arsenal are monitoring Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori, sources have told ESPN, but are yet to make any fresh moves in the market.

The north London club had been interested in Benjamin Sesko before the Slovenia striker signed a new contract to stay at RB Leipzig.

When asked whether Arsenal were looking for another attacking player in the market, Arteta said: “We are looking to improve in every possible department. With the new regulations, there are certain things we have to respect and be conscious of and then obviously the Euros and Copa América are slowing everything down. Hopefully now it is going to pick up a little bit because we have things to go and we will try to provide that.

“[How active do we expect to be?] I think both ways. There are things that we have to improve, that’s for sure and we are going to try to do. But the market is tricky. We have been very aggressive, we are very determined and we have a clear idea obviously of what we want to do. It will come down to finding the right agreements at the right time.”

Arsenal head to Los Angeles later this month where they will take on Manchester United at SoFi Stadium on July 28 and then Liverpool in Philadelphia on July 31.