Arsenal in Contract Stand-off with Celtic and RB Leipzig Ready to Pounce

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There might be bigger problems for the Arsenal hierarchy to deal with such as finding a new manager and resolving Jack Wilshere’s future, but Arthur Okonkwo is set to add to their pressures.

The highly-rated England Under-17s goalkeeper has yet to sign a professional deal with the north London club despite a string of impressive performances for the academy sides this season. He is a member of the Arsenal squad which reached the FA Youth Cup final with an impressive win over Blackpool last week.

RB Leipzig and Glasgow Celtic are both monitoring the situation and ready to pounce if talks between his agent and Arsenal break down.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Okonkwo, 16, is keen to stay with the Gunners but the 6’5” goalkeeper remains concerned he will be released this summer as the north London club streamlines its’ playing staff.

An initial offer of a scholarship followed by a professional contract on his 17th birthday this September was rejected. In a surprising move from the club previously associated with hanging onto their best young talents, no further talks have taken place.

Huss Fahmy, the club’s contract guru, is fast gaining a reputation as a no-nonsense negotiator but his sheen may be tarnished if a player tipped to be included in the first team squad in the next two seasons, leaves on a free transfer.