Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea chats with Everton's Jordan Pickford.

Bukayo Saka leads list of Premier League players who need urgent contract talks

A good few, like Wilf Zaha, are in the final season of their deals. Others are approaching their last year, while some, like David De Gea, need clarity.

Here are the players who should be at the top of each Premier League club’s to-do list when it comes to contracts…


Arsenal – Bukayo Saka
The talk right now seems to surround Gabriel Martinelli but Saka is a more pressing concern. The England attacker and William Saliba are both approaching the last season and a half of their current deals and though so too is Martinelli, the Gunners have the option to extend the Brazilian’s terms for another year. It seems Arsenal and Saka are thinking along similar lines, which is handy since losing a player of his stature to a major rival would be a huge blow to the progress they have made under Mikel Arteta.


Aston Villa – Douglas Luiz
It seems the battle may already be lost when it comes to Luiz. Villa felt confident enough to reject offers from Arsenal at the end of the last window but with no extension in sight, while clubs like Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool continue to be linked with the Brazilian, it may be smarter for the Villans to cut their losses in January before he leaves as a free agent at the end of the season.


Bournemouth – Jefferson Lerma
Eight Cherries are into the final year of their contracts at Bournemouth, including Lerma, who has played more minutes for Bournemouth than anyone else this season. “He’s valuable to us in terms of everything about him… his qualities are vitally important,” said Scott Parker of the versatile midfielder shortly before he was axed. But Parker left under the impression talks were talking place.


Brentford – Ivan Toney
There are plenty of Bees closer to free agency than Toney, but perhaps none more deserving of new terms. The striker hasn’t had a review since he joined from Peterborough in 2020, since when he’s established himself as a Premier League goalscorer while earning England recognition, if not a cap, from Gareth Southgate. As you’d expect, Brentford have their ducks in a row, with no player without an extension option in the final year of their deals.


Brighton – Leandro Trossard
Trossard and Alexis Mac Allister have started the season in the form you might expect of players hoping to catch the eye in the final year of their contracts. But the Seagulls have an option for an extra year on both players, despite the widespread belief up to the end of last month that Trossard was approaching free agency. Still, given the Belgian’s form, Brighton should be looking to tie him down sooner rather than later.


Chelsea – N’Golo Kante
Thiago Silva is in the final year of his terms but he’s 427 years old. Jorginho is also close to free agency, which he may well relish since there rarely seems to have been a time when he has been completely settled at Chelsea. Kante, though, is apparently keen to stay and the club need to make a decision, one that might be heavily weighted on his fitness in the coming weeks.


Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
If Zaha is ever to get his big move, then it’s next summer or never for the winger. Zaha is into the final year of his contract and close to having the freedom to pick his next club, something he desperately wishes he could have had when Arsenal have been sniffing. But Zaha will be 31 next season so his options may not be as plentiful as he hopes. Which may play into Palace’s hands.


Everton – Jordan Pickford
The England keeper’s current contract expires in 2024, so there is no need to panic at Goodison but the Toffees might want to get a wriggle on to avoid any hassle, especially with Manchester United perhaps in the market for a new No.1. Similar goes for Alex Iwobi, who is certainly doing his best to earn a new deal.


Fulham – Tim Ream
The USA defender earned a contract for this season by hitting his renewal targets and Ream is well placed for another extension since he is the only Cottager to play every Premier League minute this term. Eight of his team-mates also see their current deals expire in the summer but half are subject to options.


Leeds – Jack Harrison
The winger is one of several Whites out of contract in 2024 and though there is no rush, Leeds know Harrison is being courted elsewhere. If he is allowed to enter the final year of his terms, the club won’t be in a position to be quite so stubborn when the likes of Newcastle and Spurs come knocking again.


Leicester – James Maddison
Youri Tielemans is almost certain to leave as a free agent in the summer, if not before should there be a chance to claw back a few quid in January without seriously jeopardising the Foxes’ survival hopes. Maddison is only a year behind Tielemans having signed his last deal in August 2020.


Liverpool – Roberto Firmino
Firmino looked likely to be sacrificed in the wake of Mo Salah’s big new contract but the Brazilian is showing his worth to Jurgen Klopp as one of the few Reds to emerge from their start to the season with any credit. James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita are also in the final season of their contracts, but Klopp could allow all three to go without his squad being vastly weakened. If that’s what he thought about Firmino, the Liverpool boss may require a rethink.


Manchester City – Ilkay Gundogan
The City skipper in the final year of his deal and City seem quite relaxed about it all. Gundogan is a key man for Guardiola but by no means a shoo-in for the first XI. City could be willing to wave off the 31-year-old if it frees up space in the budget to go big for Jude Bellingham.


Manchester United – David De Gea
United have the option to extend De Gea’s terms for a year after the current expiry date next summer. But the Red Devils need to decide if the Spain stopper represents value for money as their second-highest-paid player after Cristiano Ronaldo. Erik ten Hag might feel perhaps not, in which case, don’t trigger the option and target a replacement.


Newcastle – Jonjo Shelvey
Before Newcastle worry about talks over new terms for Bruno Guimaraes, which are scheduled for the end of the season, they will need to sort Shelvey’s future. The situation may sort itself – the 30-year-old needs just three competitive appearances this season to trigger an automatic 12-month extension beyond the end of the current campaign. But Shelvey is one of three of the old guard, alongside Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett, whose contracts are into their final season.


Nottingham Forest – no one
Forest surprised everyone last week by handing a new contract to Steve Cooper when it seemed he was set for the sack. With clarity over the manager, now it is up to the dozens of players at his disposal to earn any extensions. Jesse Lingard is close to free agency – again – but Forest are waiting for him to justify the deal he received last summer before the consider another one.


Southampton – Mohamed Elyounoussi
The Norwegian winger said in the summer that talks had begun over a new deal – so it’s a bad time to suffer a dip and form and be dropped to the bench. Elyounoussi looked good value last season for an extension to his current terms but Saints will want to see him regain his spark before presenting him with a new contract.

Tottenham – Harry Kane
The England skipper is now more than two-thirds of the way through the six-year deal that screwed up his hopes of joining Manchester City and at the end of the season, he will go into the final year of those terms. Spurs seem strangely relaxed about the situation. In the summer, apparently, they were extremely confident they had nothing to worry about and that Kane was keen to recommit. But Bayern Munich are keen to give him reason to hold fire. Daniel Levy could really do without another summer saga, this time with Kane holding the cards.


West Ham – Manuel Lanzini
The Hammers have tried to pin down Declan Rice but the midfielder rejected an eight-season extension earlier this year. There is a little while before the club has to panic with Rice tied down to 2024, plus another year after that if the Hammers choose, which of course they will. There is more urgency over Lanzini who will become a free agent at the end of the season, with David Moyes speaking this week about how much he rates the Argentinian and how he sees him now as a central midfielder.


Wolves – Joao Moutinho
The veteran is one of two regulars out of contract at the end of the season – Nelson Semedo being the other – with Moutinho having agreed to stay last summer for another 12 months despite wanting two more years. Wolves’ new manager will have to make a decision on whether the 36-year-old belatedly gets his wish but his status at Molineux isn’t waning yet. Moutinho has started all seven games he has been available for since recovering from an ankle injury, while Wolves’ midfield will likely lose another key player, Ruben Neves, when he enters the final year of his deal next summer.


Read more: One per club: Premier League players destined to break into the starting XI this season

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