Arsenal academy star set to sign new long-term contract

Arsenal have been handed a boost this summer transfer window in a position that became surprisingly important following developments, with goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo set to end speculation of his future by signing a new long-term contract at the club.

Once the previous Premier League season ended and the Arsenal task force laid out their plans for the window, in between the sticks wasn’t intended to be as busy. There was always going to need to be some movement with Mat Ryan’s loan ending, although feelings were a permanent stay for the Aussie could be arranged.

Instead, with Bernd Leno’s future uncertain and Ryan thought to want regular football, Arsenal could need two new stoppers. Add in the likelihood of Alex Runarsson departing in some capacity this summer and interest in Andre Onana makes absolute sense.

The situation does open itself up for an academy prospect to break through and the one supporters have had their eye on to do so is Arthur Okonkwo.

Arsenal academy star Arthur Okonkwo set to sign new long-term contract to end speculation over future in summer transfer window

Having already flirted with the senior set up and been in around around the first team with regular training sessions, the 19-year-old made the bench on three occasions in last season’s Europa League, including both legs of the semi-final against Villarreal.

With his contract expiring this summer a new one was offered by Arsenal in the hopes of tying him down, only for complications to emerge over salaries. Football.london, however, have revealed that Okonkwo is now set to pen a new long-term deal in north London with Arsenal ‘highly confident’ this is wrapped up.

Considered one of the finest young talents at the Emirates, his pathway to the first team has become clearer. Runarsson will leave and Mikel Arteta, who is a big fan, is open to instilling the youngster as third choice stopper.

Having attracted interest from across Europe, a loan move will be considered by Okonkwo over the coming weeks as Per Mertesacker plots him a route into regular top-flight football.

With Leno set for an extended break following the European Championships, Arsenal’s pre-season plans look like going ahead with Runarsson as first choice. However, he may be gone by that time and it presents Okonkwo with a real chance to impress before he could then join another club for the season.

Karl Hein will also link up with the first team for pre-season in what looks set to be his final campaign with the Gunners. The Estonian international has a year left on his deal but contract talks have stalled and he is now likely to leave on a free deal in the coming summer.