On-loan Arsenal defender William Saliba tells Marseille he wants to stay - report
William Saliba has told Marseille he wants to stay at the club after his loan spell from Arsenal, according to a fresh report by RMC Sport [May 20].
The young central defender spent the season on loan in France and has been one of the stand-out performers, being crowned Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for his performances.
But with his Gunners future in the air under Mikel Arteta, RMC Sport now say that he has told the French side he wants to stay at the club next season and manager Jorge Sampaoli also wants him to stay.
They are clear that no deal has been done or is close to being done, but the player’s wishes to stay in his homeland rather than come back to London will be a blow for Arsenal as they look to bolster the squad having missed out on Champions League football.
Saliba is rated as one of the best young defenders on the continent, but hasn’t been given a chance by Arteta since his arrival at the Emirates Stadium and there is a suggestion that the two parties don’t get on.
It is now seen as a priority by Marseille to keep Saliba at the club, with a potential new loan deal with an option to make that deal permanent mooted.
Saliba is a brilliant young defender and on paper he would fit in quite perfectly to the squad that Arteta has built, adding a bit of European experience and quality depth.
But with the manager solidifying that Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes are his first choice pairing, Saliba is unlikely to want to return to sit on the bench having just broken into the French senior national team.
The World Cup will play a massive part in many transfers this summer, because players will know they have less time to earn a call up if they’re on the brink, and Saliba is among them.
Arsenal are unlikely to let him go easily considering they spent £30m to bring him to the club in the first place, but with just two years remaining on his deal and zero senior appearances under his belt it would seem odd to keep him around.
In other Arsenal news, Arsenal in talks with Sao Paulo over 19-year-old winger Marquinhos – report