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Arsenal midfielder's agent confirms "priority" contract talks

Arsenal midfielder's agent confirms
© Reuters
The agent of Arsenal midfielder Jorginho confirms that talks over a new deal with the Gunners are their "priority" ahead of the expiry of his current terms this summer.

The agent of experienced Arsenal midfielder Jorginho has confirmed that talks with the Gunners over his client's contract situation are a "priority" heading into the summer window.

The Euro 2020 winner only penned an 18-month agreement in North London upon his arrival from Chelsea in January 2023, meaning that he is currently heading for an exit at the end of the season.

Arsenal are believed to possess the option to extend Jorginho's contract by another year, which could also simply ensure that they are able to recoup a small fee for his sale this summer if Mikel Arteta decides that his services are no longer needed.

However, Arsenal have not taken up their option to prolong Jorginho's stay by another year, but they are instead said to be preparing talks over a brand-new deal on account of his recent renaissance in the Gunners' XI.

After starting the campaign as a bit-part player, Jorginho has forced his way back into Arteta's team on a regular basis thanks to some masterful displays in the middle of the field, most notably against Liverpool and Newcastle United.

Arsenal's Jorginho pictured on November 4, 2023© Reuters

The 32-year-old normally operates as the deepest lying midfielder in Arsenal's system, allowing summer arrival Declan Rice to venture forward more often - a tactic which is working to brilliant effect so far.

Thanks to Jorginho mopping up in the number six role, Rice has had a direct hand in 12 Premier League goals this season - six of his own and six assists - but the former's future is still shrouded in uncertainty.

However, speaking to Radio Sportiva, Jorginho's agent insisted that it was the pair's priority to sit down with Arsenal and discuss the situation, but he opened the door to the ex-Napoli man returning to Serie A.

"We will discuss with Arsenal about his contract being due to expire in June, it's our priority," Joao Santos said. "Arsenal have fantastic group and we will see if they need him for next season. Returning to Italy? Why not? One day maybe."

From 44 appearances in an Arsenal shirt, Jorginho has come up with one goal and two assists and has started each of the Gunners' last three games in the Premier League, where they are on a magnificent eight-match winning streak.

Jorginho's calming influence has been key to Arsenal's record-breaking start to the year, which has seen Arteta's side rise to the summit of the Premier League table over Liverpool thanks to their superior goal difference.

What about Arsenal's other ageing midfielders?

Jorginho could very well play himself into a new short-term deal if he carries on performing in the same vein for Arsenal, which would further hamper two of his teammates' chances of staying on in North London for next season.

The Champions League-winning lynchpin was signed in January 2023 as a replacement for Mohamed Elneny following the news that the Egyptian would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, but he was rewarded with a new one-year contract nonetheless.

The 31-year-old is now bidding to make a name for himself as a coach but has played just six times for Arsenal in the current campaign, and all the signs are pointing towards a parting of the ways this summer; there could certainly be scope for Elneny to continue in a backroom or youth role, though, especially with Under-18s manager Jack Wilshere tipped to make the step-up to senior management soon.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey's terms only have a little over 12 months left to run, and while he is now back from a severe thigh injury, offers will supposedly be entertained given his repeated struggles to stay fit.

With a new number six also on Arteta's shopping list - Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi is seemingly the number one target in that regard - neither Partey nor Elneny should stick around if Jorginho earns the extension his performances warrant.

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Arsenal's Jorginho pictured on November 4, 2023
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