WILLIAM SALIBA is set for a THIRD loan move away from Arsenal with several clubs reportedly tracking the defender.
The Gunners signed the Frenchman from Saint-Etienne for £27million two years ago, but he is yet to play a competitive game for the club.
William Saliba impressed during a spell with Nice, scoring twice[/caption]
The 20-year-old returned to Saint-Etienne immediately after signing for the Premier League side and was left out of Mikel Arteta’s 25-man squad for the 2020-21 season, leading to a fresh loan move with Nice from January.
In 22 games on the Mediterranean coast, he did enough to make the shortlist for the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.
However, Arsenal are still not sure that he is ready for a place in the team.
Another stint away from the club is deemed likely, as reported by French outlet FootMercato.
Arteta is set to take a look at Saliba when pre-season begins but is described as leaning towards a loan transfer, with the player under contract to 2024.
As many as nine clubs are already named as interested in a potential deal.
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Southampton and Newcastle are the two English sides reportedly keen along with Bayer Leverkusen, Nice, Rennes, Marseille, Lille, and two unnamed clubs in Italy.
David Luiz is leaving Arsenal once his contract expires at the end of the month, leaving Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers as centre-back options for Arteta.
But the coach is reportedly still determined to bring in a new face with Brighton’s Ben White strongly linked.
Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo is another rumoured target for the Gunners.
As the 20-21 campaign ended, Arteta insisted that Saliba will get his chance to impress next season.
We will make a decision based on an agreement of the role each player is going to have in our squad.
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He said last month: “William is our player for sure and that’s the decision we’re going to be taking soon.
“When we finish the season we will sit down and discuss the roles of every member in our squad and how they can fulfil that role.
“He’s our player so he’ll be back here for sure.
“After that, we will make a decision based on an agreement of the role each player is going to have in our squad.”
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