William Saliba

Arsenal defender William Saliba could be in line for a return to Olympique Marseille with the club’s president meeting with the Frenchman’s agent, as per Fabrizio Romano.

Saliba, 21, has only just returned to the Gunners from Marseille following an impressive season-long loan spell at the Stade Velodrome.

Romano claims that Marseille president Pablo Longoria flew to London on July 25 to meet with Saliba’s agent.

The French defender has been part of Mikel Arteta’s side for pre-season and has impressed during the tour of the United States.

Prior to this season, Saliba is yet to play a senior game for Arsenal, having spent time on loan at the likes of Marseille, OGC Nice and Saint-Etienne.

The 21-year-old made 36 appearances on loan at the Phocaeans last season and was named Ligue 1’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ for his breakout campaign.

During that spell, Saliba was instrumental in helping guide Marseille into a Champions League spot and into the semi-finals of the inaugural Europa Conference League.

The French defender has two years left on his current deal with Arsenal, having joined from St-Etienne in 2019 for £27 million.

His performances have caught the eye of French national team boss Didier Deschamps, who has handed him 5 international caps to date.

The 21-year-old can expect to be part of the squad that heads to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup later this year.

Whether that will be whilst an Arsenal or Marseille player is now an intriguing question.

Former Arsenal midfielder Mateo Guendouzi pushing to have William Saliba return

William Saliba played alongside former Arsenal midfielder Mateo Guendouzi last season for Marseille.

The French pair forged a strong bond at the Stade Veledrome and Guendouzi has now signed for the Ligue 1 club permanently.

The 23-year-old has joined in a £9.9 million deal, signing a three-year contract.

He had fuelled talk of enticing Saliba to rejoin him at Marseille amidst the defender’s return to the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Guendouzi told TF1 (via Eurosport):

“William (Saliba) now has Marseille in his heart, and I’m sure that he’ll come back to Marseille next season. So I’m going to keep pushing so that he stays with us.”
Saliba had stated his desire to impress for the Gunners prior to his return to the club this summer, saying:

“I belong to Arsenal, I still have two years left… I have played no matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.”
He added:

“But it doesn’t just depend on me. In any case, to leave like this, would be a shame.”

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