Why Reiss Nelson missed Arsenal pre-season training as an announcement could be imminent.

Gunners winger Reiss Nelson is close to signing a new contract, but he wasn’t spotted in the batch of images from Arsenal’s first day of pre-season training ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

As expected, not every senior Arsenal player was in attendance for the first day of pre-season training.

This won’t have come as a surprise with those involved in international duty over the summer – including Bukayo Saka, Thomas Partey, captain Martin Odegaard, Kieran Tierney, Jorginho and Aaron Ramsdale – being granted extra time off whilst Emile Smith Rowe is still with the England squad at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Summer signing Kai Havertz is yet to meet up with his new teammates having represented Germany three times last month, but as confirmed by the Gunners when announcing the midfielder’s £65million transfer from Chelsea, he will report to London Colney for pre-season training in early July.

As a result, this meant the first-team players that were present on day one of pre-season training in preparation for the 2023/24 campaign were Benjamin White, Rob Holding, Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, Cedric Soares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Marquinhos.

Furthermore, there was a call-up for talented youngster Lino Sousa but one senior star who did not return to training on Monday – and surprisingly so – was Reiss Nelson. To the best of any knowledge the winger isn’t injured nor was he involved in international fixtures over the summer.

So why was he absent? Well, to speculate it could be that, technically, the 23-year-old is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium as his deal expired on June 30 and therefore may not return to training – or at least be photographed in a session – until his future is officially resolved.

At one point it did seem as if Nelson was to leave Arsenal on a free transfer as football.london reported that he had rejected two offers for an extension towards the end of last season, but it’s understood that fresh talks are now in the final stages, with the club confident a deal can be finalised.

Perhaps there will be an official announcement with regard to Nelson signing a new contract with the Gunners in due course especially as one can only assume there has to be some developments if the winger is to be part of the squad that travels to Germany next week for their first pre-season fixture against Nurnberg.

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