AHEAD OF THE GAME: Arsenal resist requests over Saka release clause
AHEAD OF THE GAME: Arsenal resist requests to insert a release clause in Bukayo Saka’s new contract… while Laura Woods is set to get Champions League presenting role and Martin Tyler misses a trophy presentation for the first time in 20 YEARS
- Bukayo Saka was awarded a shorter deal than many had expected at Arsenal
- The compromise suits both parties, with the club able to protect Saka’s value
- Laura Woods is set to present Champions League coverage live on TNT Sports
Arsenal resisted requests to insert a release clause in Bukayo Saka’s new contract and instead agreed to give the England forward a shorter deal than many had expected, with the 21-year-old signing on for four more years this week.
The compromise suits both parties, with Arsenal protecting Saka’s transfer value and the player keeping his options open should he wish to move in two years’ time, when the club will either cash in or offer him another new deal.
Unlike some Premier League clubs, Arsenal are reluctant to follow the European model of giving players set release clauses and prefer to trust in the negotiating skills of their transfer team, lead by sporting director Edu.
Saka’s contract has trebled his basic wages to about £200,000 a week, but he could earn as much as £290,000 if performance targets are met.
Arsenal forward Buyako Saka was awarded a contract shorter than what many had expected
The club were able to protect Saka’s transfer value with the compromise suiting both parties
OWNER NOT AT CITY’S BIG FINAL
Sheik Mansour is not planning to attend Manchester City’s Champions League final against Inter Milan, despite his club being on the brink of a historic Treble.
The City owner has spent billions on the club since leading a £265million takeover in 2008, with next month’s final in Istanbul shaping up to be the biggest moment in their 143-year history.
Yet he appears to have little interest in attending. In fact, Mansour has only been to one City game since buying the club – a match against Liverpool in 2009-10 – but has watched training when the squad have visited Abu Dhabi.
WOODS TO GET TNT EURO ROLE
Laura Woods is set to present Champions League coverage on TNT Sport next season, with Lynsey Hipgrave continuing to front Premier League games on the channel that is replacing BT Sport.
Mail Sport revealed last week that Woods was in talks with owners Warner Bros Discovery about joining the rebranded channel. Long-serving BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey then confirmed his departure after 10 years the following day.
While discussions are continuing, Woods has been offered the chance to replace Humphrey, with Hipgrave keeping the Premier League presenting duties she began at the start of this season.
A Warner Bros spokesperson declined to comment.
Laura Woods is set to present Champions League coverage on TNT Sport next season
EVERTON BIDDERS EYE OTHERS
Prospective Everton buyers 777 Partners could make an offer to buy another English club after Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri chose to enter into exclusive negotiations with a rival bidder, MSP Sports Capital, this week.
777 were seeking a controlling interest in Everton, whereas Moshiri only wants to sell a small stake, with MSP in talks to buy 25 per cent of the club.
777 own a share in a wide range of clubs including Sevilla, Hertha Berlin, Standard Liege, Vasco da Gama and Melbourne Victory, and are eager to add an English team to their portfolio.
The Miami-based investment fund have already made successful moves in this country as they own 45 per cent of basketball club London Lions, who won the British Basketball League play-offs for the first time this month.
TYLER’S RARE TROPHY ABSENCE
Sky Sports’ lead commentator Martin Tyler missed covering a Premier League trophy lift for the first time in 20 years due to a sore throat.
The 77-year-old had been due to commentate on Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea, and the subsequent title celebrations at the Etihad Stadium, but was forced to stand down, with Rob Hawthorne replacing him.
Tyler soldiered on despite the sore throat when commentating on Brighton’s 3-0 win at Arsenal the previous weekend, but his symptoms worsened during the week and he opted to stand aside.
He is now hoping to return to work for Sky’s coverage of the final day of the Premier League season tomorrow, as well as commentating on the FA Cup final and Champions League final for international broadcasters.
Sky Sports commentator missed a Premier League trophy lift for the first time in 20 years
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