By Nnamdi Onyeagwara

22nd Jul, 2022 | 11:00am

Arsenal defender William Saliba has agreed new contract - report

Arsenal defender William Saliba has already agreed a new contract at the club, according to sports journalist Freddie Paxton.

The centre-back had been linked with a move away from the Gunners as he had not been confirmed as in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the future.

However, since then the manager and Saliba have both confirmed the joint desire to stay at the Emirates and now it is being reported that Saliba may be close to officially signing a new contract at the club.

Paxton, who has written for The Guardian and The Times among others, said: “It is my understanding that William Saliba has already agreed a new deal to extend his #AFC contract after positive talks before the US tour.

“Arsenal are pleased with his development and see him as an important part of the future.

“No word on when an official announcement is expected.”

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New deal for Saliba?

The reported new deal is great news for Gunners fans who have patiently waited to see Saliba feature for them and have not seen the youngster given a chance in the team.

The Frenchman joined the club as an 18-year-old, from Saint-Etienne in 2019, for a reported fee of £27million, under then-Arsenal manager Unai Emery. [Sky Sports]

He was loaned back to the French club as part of the deal, and it was widely expected that he would be phased back into the team once he returned the following season.

However, this has not been the case and the youngster has been loaned out twice more since, to OGC Nice in 2021, and to Marseille last season.

The latter was particularly successful as Saliba helped the club qualify for the Champions League, earned a place in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season, was crowned the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year, and earned five caps for the France national team.

Saliba is a huge talent and if he has signed a new deal, Gunners should be very excited.

In other Arsenal news, youngster Ryan Alebiosu has joined Kilmarnock on loan.