Liverpool have been plotting a potential move for Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka this summer.
Saka has been one of the Premier League’s standout players this season. With a contract still to be signed at the Emirates, it looked as though he could soon be surprisingly on the market.
As per The Times though, Saka is now set to sign a new contract to stay at his boyhood club. This is likely to disappoint Liverpool, as well as Manchester City, who were both reportedly ‘closely monitoring’ the 22-year-old ahead of a possible summer move.
Despite the interest from Liverpool and City, Saka reportedly told Arsenal he wanted to stay. As a result, the England international is now claimed to have agreed to a contract extension said to be worth more than £200k-a-week.
Time to let go of Saka dream for Liverpool
Liverpool’s interest in Saka isn’t a new thing. The Reds have been rumoured to have been on his trail for a while now.
His displays for a resurgent Arsenal this season have only confirmed what a good player he is. Had he failed to agree terms in North London, he’d have been a heck of a signing for Liverpool.
Unfortunately, that now looks like an impossibility. Of course, a new contract doesn’t always mean a transfer is off the table. But given Saka’s desire to stay at Arsenal and the fee he’d command, we can safely now rule this one out.
Throughout this little saga, Saka’s desire to play in the Champions League appears to have been a sticking point.
At the time of first interest being reported, that’s something Liverpool could offer. Arsenal could not.
Now though, the tables have turned. The Reds’ involvement in the competition is in major doubt after a terrible Premier League season. Arsenal on the other hand look certain to qualify for the first time since 2015/16.
There are no doubt other factors at play in this particular case – Saka has been with the Gunners since he was seven. Liverpool will hope this isn’t a window into their future outside the Champions League, though.
Saka’s case is probably different to plenty of other targets. It hurts to miss out on a player described as ‘ridiculous’ by Rio Ferdinand. But this was never really going to happen.