Arsenal Transfer News: After flying to London to speak with the agent of the Arsenal defender, Marseille’s president is still trying to sign William Saliba.
Saliba played for L’OM last season while out on loan. As a result of his exceptional performances, he was named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year.
The 21-year-old is now back in north London after Mikel Arteta recently said that he is “ready” for the move up at his parent club. He also assisted Marseille in qualifying for the Champions League.
Marseille is still interested in signing the France international. Despite the Gunners manager making it obvious that Saliba is in his plans for the upcoming season and giving him playing time in the preseason. Pablo Longoria, the president of Marseille, and Djibril Niang, Saliba’s agent, had dinner together on Monday night in London.
Arsenal Transfer News: Pursuit by Marseille
Longoria and company may attempt to persuade the Frenchman to return to his native country by guaranteeing him first-team action. Arsenal, who paid St Etienne £25.6 million to acquire Saliba in June 2019, is now ready to use Saliba.
Saliba played the whole 90 minutes as the Gunners defeated London rivals Chelsea 4-0 on Saturday in a preseason friendly in Orlando. Arteta praised Saliba’s comfortable performance.
What did Arteta say?
The Spaniard beamingly exclaimed, “I am really thrilled to watch the way he is playing. Keep up the good work because of how well he has acclimated to the squad and the maturity he has displayed at the age of 21. He has tremendous potential, is currently a great talent, and we need to continue to improve him. To me, he appeared prepared today.”
Arteta was also gushing over Arsenal’s preseason match over Everton, which they won 2-0. “He was excellent. He has matured the way we wanted him to, and I believe he gave a tremendous performance tonight. I thought he played a really solid game, looked really calm and was totally focused from day one.”
Arsenal prioritizes midfield, therefore technical director Edu isn’t rumoured to be talking to any centre-backs in the final weeks of the summer transfer market. Saliba has been on loan for three seasons, and Arteta stated back in May that this is his chance to shine.
What did Edu say?
He told RMC Sport, “We made the right choice [to loan Saliba away]. He needs to return. He possesses the skills required to compete with us.
“He wouldn’t have had half the playing time he had with Marseille if he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League game per week, with Ben White and Gabriel [Magalhaes], for sure.
“That wouldn’t have been helpful for his development and what he can do in the upcoming season. Because he wouldn’t have had enough playing time to develop his skills, William wasn’t with us. There is nothing more to say.”