Arsenal rejected Bukayo Saka contract request despite signing new deal
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Arsenal's season might have ended in disappointment, but Bukayo Saka has given supporters reason to be cheerful heading into the summer break.
Despite topping the Premier League table for 248 days this season, Arsenal's form nose-dived at the worst possible time and Manchester City leapfrogged them to snatch the title with three games to spare.
That said, rising from fifth place to title challengers in the space of a season is some achievement, one that Saka played a significant role in.
The attacker has scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists in all competitions this season, and for the second campaign running has featured in all of his side's league matches.
Given Saka's impressive form and potential to get even better - he is still only 21 - there were rumours that other top clubs were plotting moves for him.
Saka's previous contract was set to expire at the end of next season, and talks regarding a new deal dragged on for months.
Thankfully for Mikel Arteta's side, the England star penned a new four-year deal earlier this week to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium until 2027.
Saka's basic wages have reportedly increased to £200,000 a week, which could increase to £290,000 if certain targets are met.
However, despite his obvious importance to the club, Arsenal were unwilling to grant Saka one of the contract requests he made.
The Gunners allowed Saka to sign a shorter extension than they had wanted to give him, giving the player greater flexibility regarding his future.
According to the Daily Mail, in return Arsenal rejected a request from Saka's representatives that a release clause be inserted into the new contract.
That gives Arsenal greater power in terms of holding out for an asking price, should Saka ask to leave further down the line.
Despite only being 21, Saka has already made 178 appearances for Arsenal. By the sounds of it, he's looking forward to making many more.
"I'm just really happy. There's been a lot of talking, and it's been a while, but I'm here now. I think this is the right club, the right place to make the next step. It's a beautiful club - look where we are," Saka said after signing his deal.
"For me, it's about achieving my personal ambitions - how much I push myself and demand from myself each game, week in, week out. Then I have all the right people around me in terms of family, and when I come to the training ground, my team-mates, the coaching staff.
"I think I have everything I need to become the best player I can be, and that's why I'm happy to stay here and be here for the future, because I really believe that we can achieve big things."