Every word Mikel Arteta just said on Gabriel transfer, Aubameyang contract, Saliba and Liverpool

How hard it is mentally to start a season three weeks after the end of the last?

“It’s not hard because we really like our job and we have the privilege to work in this industry but we needed time to reflect on what we did. As well to put our minds a little bit away from football. I think we have the chance to do it not as we normally do, but enough, and the players seem in good condition mentally and physically so we are ready to go. We have no choice, we have a cup to play on Saturday.”

What have you made of how William Saliba’s settled in?

“He’s been training really hard. He stayed here in London to do a better preparation and you can tell he looks ready. There are a lot of things that are new for him and he will need to adapt but certainly he has the right qualities for this football club and the right attitude to keep improving and showing the player he can be for our future.”

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What shape are the squad in?

“We’ve had two training sessions so you can imagine this game comes in the middle of our mini-pre-season but we haven’t had much time to lose the condition. It’s not an ideal moment to play this final but the players are motivated, it’s another opportunity to win a trophy and we will go for it.”

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Is anybody in quarantine or failed a COVID test?

“No, we’ve been through different moments with the restrictions from the government and Premier League testing. It’s always so unexpected, what’s going to happen the next day. We try to adapt and get the team in the game possible way to compete on Saturday.”

Where are you with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract?

“I keep being positive. We have some really good talks with him and his agents and I am pretty confident that we can find an agreement soon. That’s my feeling.”

Which will be a massive lift to everybody, won’t it?

“Absolutely, and…