Marseille president Pablo Longoria was reportedly in London and held a meeting with William Saliba’s agent to discuss a possible transfer.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Marseille have not given up on the idea of signing William Saliba from Arsenal after the Ligue 1 club’s president Pablo Longoria held a meeting with the defender’s agent in London. However, Arsenal are not interested in selling the centre-back who has impressed in pre-season.
William Saliba’s future has caused plenty of stir among Arsenal fans and reportedly had an impact at Marseille in the close season. The defender spent last season on loan at Stade Velodrome and thoroughly impressed under Jorge Sampaoli to be named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year.
However, the Ligue 1 giants’ inability to sign him may have been the primary reason for Sampaoli’s departure. However, Marseille remain interested in making a permanent move for the Arsenal defender, having made several approaches so far this summer.
Marseille can guarantee Saliba a starting spot in the team while also giving him a chance to feature in the UEFA Champions League. Arsenal only qualified for the Europa League, but Mikel Arteta is keen on keeping the 21-year-old as part of his team.
Excl: Olympique Marseille president Pablo Longoria was in London tonight to meet up with William Saliba’s agent for dinner. ?? #OM
Arsenal consider Saliba important part of the team. “I’m pleased to see the way he is playing. He’s already a top player”, Mikel Arteta said. pic.twitter.com/rk00ySqhaT
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 25, 2022
Before returning for pre-season training, Saliba confirmed his intention to remain at Arsenal and fight for his place in the team. Arteta has kept faith in the defender by making him an important part of the pre-season tour to the USA, with the 21-year-old producing impressive performances.
While many outlets indicated that Arsenal remain keen on extending Saliba’s contract, a few suggested the defender was considering his future at the club. As things stand, the 21-year-old is set to play an important role in Arteta’s backline in the upcoming season, having already slotted in comfortably alongside Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
While Arteta has reiterated his commitment towards the defender, Fabrizio Romano claims Marseille president Pablo Longoria was in London to meet Saliba’s agent at a dinner. The obvious conclusion from the news was about a discussion to sign the French international permanently, although multiple factors could play against the Ligue 1 giants.
Arsenal are not considering entertaining offers for Saliba, and even if they do, their asking price would be out of Marseille’s reach. Fans expect the 21-year-old to feature heavily under Arteta in the upcoming season and form a solid central defensive partnership.
For now, Marseille should look at alternative targets, as Arsenal will be hoping to sort out Saliba’s future by extending his current contract. Saliba has shown qualities to become a long-term option for the Gunners, with the upcoming season likely to be his breakthrough in the Premier League.