Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has suggested that the Gunners could give William Saliba a new contract to fend off interest from La Liga giants Barcelona. The French centre-back, who joined the Gunners from St. Etienne in July 2019, has returned from a season-long loan spell at Ligue 1 club Marseille.

As per Gerard Romero (via the Daily Mail), Barcelona have identified Saliba as an alternative to Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and could make a move for him this summer. However, Premier League giants Chelsea are believed to be leading the race for the Sevilla man.

Saliba is yet to feature for the Gunners’ first team apart from pre-season friendlies, but Arteta hinted that he might have a plan for the Frenchman. When asked whether Saliba would be offered a new contract, the former Manchester City assistant coach said (via the Express):

“We always have a plan, and when we have to execute it, that’s a different story, and football is a really funny game. We are really happy to have him, and you can see the way he’s adapted, the way he’s matured and he’s playing well.”
The 21-year-old featured in 52 games for Marseille last season, impressing with his commendable defensive acumen.

Barcelona and Arsenal look set for fruitful campaigns
Both Arsenal and Barcelona endured disappointing campaigns last season, going trophyless. They are eager to change that next season, which is evident in the signings both clubs have made.

The Gunners have brought in Gabriel Jesus, Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira, and Matt Turner, reinforcing their squad to fight on all fronts next season. The Blaugrana, meanwhile, have signed Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Ousmane Dembele. Barcelona are also looking to bolster their defence before the new season.

The Gunners and the Blaugrana also have two excellent managers in Mikel Arteta and Xavi respectively. While they lack experience, they more than make up for that with their attractive style of play.

Accommodating so many new players will not be a straightforward task, but fans of both clubs have plenty of reasons to look forward to the new season.


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