By George Overhill

17th Oct, 2022 | 10:45pm

Chelsea may be used as leverage in Bukayo Saka contract talks with Arsenal - Ben Jacobs

Chelsea like Bukayo Saka but will likely end up just being used as leverage in his contract discussions with Arsenal, according to Ben Jacobs.

The CBS journalist had told The Football Terrace on 14 October that the framework for a five-year, £200,000-a-week deal is already in place for him to extend his time at the Emirates, but that Todd Boehly would be willing to offer more than that.

The 21-year-old fits the specification of the type of target that the American has pursued heavily in recent months, but Jacobs clarified some of the discussion around the subject on Twitter to make clear that the Blues are very much on the outside of the situation looking.

Responding to some discussion on Twitter stemming from his previous comments he wrote on Monday (17 October): “I made it clear Saka is seen as untouchable by Arsenal. Full context here is key.

“Chelsea like Saka, and may be used as leverage, but they will have to play a long-game if they want him even on better terms.

“Full expectation at Arsenal he extends.”

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The England international’s current contract has less than two years to run, but considering his age and his quality it seems likely that the Gunners would move heaven and earth to avoid losing him to a London rival.

If the 21-year-old isn’t unhappy at the Emirates then it also seems unlikely that he would want to burn his bridges with the fans there to move to Stamford Bridge.

But given that Boehly has proven to be anything but conventional when it comes to pursuing who he feels are the stars of the future – offering £50million for Romeo Lavia two months after he’d signed for Southampton for £12million for example – he is unlikely to be put off chancing his arm.

But it appears all that will do for now is make Saka a richer Arsenal player, so the world champions will have to wait and see if there is scope further down the line.

Graham Potter’s squad suddenly seems light in terms of actual wide players, behind Raheem Sterling who is virtually an automatic starter, with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz both more centrally suited.

Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are both relatively short on form and game time compared to previous seasons, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is on loan in the Bundesliga.

So it is easy to see why Saka would be an attractive target, especially when both Pulisic and Ziyech came relatively close to leaving in the summer, but it frankly isn’t going to happen any time soon.

In other Chelsea news, Tino Livramento could be in Boehly’s sights in January after the latest injury to Reece James.