Arsenal goalkeeper in positive talks over contract extension with European interest mounting

0 Arthur Okonkwo 2

Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo is in positive talks over a new contract extension with the club amid interest from several European teams, understands.

The 19-year-old is considered among one of the best young talents at Emirates Stadium and has learnt that teams in France, Belgium and Portugal have expressed an interest in the shot stopper who will be out of contract this summer.

Okonkwo received his first senior call-up in March when he was named amongst the substitutes for the Europa League last 16 second leg encounter against Olympiacos.

Fellow goalkeepers Karl Hein and James Hillson have also been picked in rotation as the third-choice goalkeeper for European games, with Estonian international another starlet who has been earmarked for a bright future in the game.

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However, it is Okonkwo who has been the ‘extra man’ in Arsenal’s squad on several occasions this season – most recently for the Premier League match against West Brom – and he regularly trains with the first team at London Colney.

He is expected to assess his options over the coming weeks with a potential loan move for next season also being mooted, as academy chief Per Mertesacker looks to create a pathway to the first team for the youngster.

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Meanwhile, Bernd Leno is open to leaving Arsenal this summer with the club willing to sell him for the right price, while talks are set to begin with Brighton over signing Mat Ryan on a permanent deal. Third choice Alex Runarsson is available to leave with a loan move the most likely option.

There are also expected to be a number of youth players leaving the club this summer. The Gunners have 39 youngsters on professional contracts and a further 19 on scholarship deals, and that number will be dramatically decreased over the next couple of months.

Source by Football London

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