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Arsenal pushing to agree new deals with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli & William Saliba

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Arsenal are pushing hard to tie Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba down to new long-term contracts, 90min understands.

The talented trio are all out of contract in 2024 – meaning their deals have less than two years to run – but are seen as a key part of Mikel Arteta’s plans as he ushers in a new era at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners are currently top of the Premier League table, after winning five of their opening six games, and Saka, Martinelli and Saliba have all played significant roles in their early season success.

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Agreeing a new contract with Saka has long been on Arsenal’s agenda, with the player himself revealing at the end of August that he is confident of extending his stay in north London, and sources have confirmed to 90min that talks are progressing well between the two parties.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are among the sides monitoring Saka, which Arsenal and the player are aware of, but there’s a growing confidence that fresh terms will be signed off before the new year.

As for Saliba, 90min revealed last month that negotiations were underway to prolong his stay at Arsenal, following a successful couple of seasons on loan in his native France – a stay that saw him crowned Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for 2021/22.

Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss the fallout from the summer transfer window, Gavi’s contract situation at Barcelona, Chelsea’s midfield issues, Antony’s suitability at Man Utd and more. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

The 21-year-old was tipped to leave the club on loan again this summer, but has instead flourished as a first-team regular under Arteta – pushing £50m Ben White into an unfamiliar right-back role in the process – to reinforce his status as one of Europe’s finest young defensive prospects.

Martinelli’s current deal, meanwhile, does contain an option to extend, but Arsenal are keen to reward the Brazilian with improved terms for the progress he has showed under Arteta – who is anxious for all three deals to be concluded as quickly as possible.

Sources have confirmed to 90min that director of football Edu believes all three deals are on the right track, with the Gunners hopeful that all three will have put pen to paper by January.

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Tajon Buchanan fit and ready for Canada after ‘tough process’ of recovery

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Canadian Men’s National Team forward Tajon Buchanan faces arguably the most crucial game of his life against Uruguay on Tuesday.

Sure, the clash in Bratislava, Slovakia, is just a mere friendly. However, it’s the CanMNT’s last match before John Herdman names his roster for the nation’s first World Cup since 1986 and second-ever.

And for Buchanan, it’s a chance to return to the field for the first time since Club Brugge’s match against Anderlecht in May after nursing a quad injury. Now, the 23-year-old must prove to Herdman that he’s fit and ready for Qatar 2022 – as he’ll continue to do when he returns to Belgium following this international break.

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“I was injured for two months, so it’s been a tough process but now that I feel good again, I can start training and get some games in. I feel good, so I am happy,” Buchanan said on Sunday. “I was just in warm-ups in the first game of the season — a [Belgian] Super Cup game — and I took a shot in warmups and I felt something in my quad. Ever since then, it’s been an up-and-down journey.

“I tried to come back in training and hurt it again so it was a tough period, but I am good now and ready to play some games.”

It was quite a surprise to see Buchanan travel with the national team considering he hasn’t managed a single appearance for Brugge this season.

However, it’s vital the 23-year-old gets minutes not just for the World Cup, but to prepare him for the rest of the Belgian season, and Herdman has praised the First Division A champions for their handling of Buchanan’s situation.

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“I think Brugge have done a good job the last few weeks getting him ready to return to play,” Herdman said. “And for a player, a first injury, it takes time to trust your body again. He had some good moments [on Sunday] and he fit right back into our structure.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



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Eric Cantona suggests David Beckham has made ‘big mistake’ with World Cup ambassadorship

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Eric Cantona has insisted that ex-professional footballers such as former Manchester United teammate David Beckham have made a ‘big mistake’ in becoming ambassadors for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.

There have been several major criticisms regarding the showpiece tournament, largely relating to Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

Cantona, one of football’s most outspoken and charismatic figures, revealed in January that he would be boycotting this year’s World Cup.

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“It’s only about money and the way they treated the people who built the stadiums, it’s horrible. And thousands of people died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup. Personally, I will not watch it. I understand football is a business. But I thought it was the only place where everybody could have a chance,” he told The Athletic.

He also said that he does not expect players to take up the same stance, adding: “If you have a player who says, ‘I will boycott the World Cup’, you say, ‘Bravo’. But you cannot condemn a 20-year-old player, who has a 10-year career, who lives in a world surrounded by people from football 24 hours per day.

“But do speak about the federations, speak about the politicians, who have the power to say, ‘No, we do not go to the World Cup’. We cannot be disappointed if players don’t want to boycott the World Cup, because at the top, the politicians, the presidents, the federations, the ministers…the real power, everywhere in the world, they have the power to boycott it. It is too easy to say the players.”

Cantona was then asked what he thought of ex-players, such as global icon Beckham, endorsing the World Cup and Qatar’s efforts in ambassadorial roles and if he would take on such a job.

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“I would not do it at all. I do completely the opposite. In January 2022, I started to say that. Maybe I was the first one,” he replied.

“But I am free to do it. And of course, an ex-player paid to do this kind of thing…It could be they don’t know what has happened there.

“Or, if they know it, I think they did wrong. I think they made a big mistake. A big, big mistake.”



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Mohamed Salah to return to Liverpool after being released from Egypt duty

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Mohamed Salah is set to leave the Egypt national team camp ahead of schedule and return to Liverpool training.

The forward scored twice in a 3-0 win against Niger on Friday, but manager Rui Vitoria has confirmed that his star man will be rested for Tuesday’s friendly with Liberia.

Salah will not be at risk of injury while on international duty and will now head back to Merseyside ahead of Liverpool’s return to Premier League action.

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The Reds welcome Brighton to Anfield on Saturday, with Roberto De Zerbi taking charge of his first Seagulls match after replacing Graham Potter in the dugout.

Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the encounter having won just two of their opening six Premier League games, and sit four points behind Brighton in the table.

Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyToby Cudworth and Sean Walsh bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Jude Bellingham’s future, Bayern Munich’s interest in Harry Kane, widespread Premier League interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk and plenty more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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Salah has scored just two Premier League goals so far this season, while Liverpool are yet to see the best of summer signing Darwin Nunez.

Liverpool’s last two matches have both come in the Champions League – a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Napoli and a narrow 2-1 win over Ajax – due to postponements in relation to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their last league outing was their 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby at Everton on September 3.





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