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Thursday, 28 December, 2000, 07:55 GMT
Bergkamp and Parlour agree deals
Dennis Bergkamp and Ray Parlour
Dennis Bergkamp and Ray Parlour are happy at Arsenal
Arsenal fans have received a major end-of-year boost with news that key players Dennis Bergkamp and Ray Parlour have agreed new contract extensions.

Parlour has already signed an extension to his contract and Bergkamp is expected to follow suit early in January.

The news brings to an end speculation that Bergkamp might leave the Gunners at the end of the season.

He has been in lengthy negotiations with the club and has been unable to command a guaranteed starting place in the Arsenal team this season.

That had led to suggestions that the 31-year-old Dutchman might leave on a free transfer next summer.

Uncertainty ends

But his agent Rob Jansen told The Daily Mail: "This has been a long process and Dennis can understand why Arsenal fans have grown anxious.

"But things are now looking good and I am as certain as I can be that Dennis will sign a new contract within the next week or so.

"Dennis has always wanted to stay at Arsenal. All this has been on his mind and it has not helped his football this season."

Newcastle United - in need of striking cover due to an injury to Alan Shearer - were the latest in a string of clubs recently linked with making a move for Bergkamp.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had previously asked Bergkamp to make a final decision on his future by Christmas.


Ray never wanted to leave Arsenal and is delighted it has been sorted out
  Steve Kutner, Ray Parlour's agent

He stated: "He is still an important player for us and it is not as though he has lost a yard of pace or a measure of enthusiasm. In training he still works very hard and his physical condition is unbelievable.

"But I need him to settle his concentration by signing the new contract and I want it done over the Christmas period if not before.

"He has a firm offer from the club for two more years here and he knows how much I want him to stay here. It is his decision now and he has to cope with the fact that he may not play as much as he would like to."

Lucrative

Parlour has already put pen to paper on his new terms which will keep the 27-year-old England player at Highbury until 2004.

His agent, Steve Kutner, said: "Ray has signed an extension with the club and it's true that a player of his calibre could have accepted a more lucrative offer to move.

"But Ray never wanted to leave Arsenal and is delighted it has been sorted out."

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17 Dec 00 |  Arsenal
Wenger gives Bergkamp ultimatum
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