Premier League • England

Arsenal risk losing crucial star as Arteta sweats on mammoth wage demands with PSG lurking

William Saliba, Martin Odegaard, Arsenal, November 2022

William Saliba and Martin Odegaard celebrate goal for Arsenal

Arsenal are readying a contract offer for William Saliba, but have reportedly been shocked by demands way above their £120,000-per-week offer.

Each area of the Gunners’ squad pulled their weight in a different way this season. That they were in the Premier League title race after finishing fifth last season shows the progression of the squad.

Indeed, the forwards found the net often, the midfield pulled strings, and the defence was largely solid.

A pillar of that defensive unit was Saliba. After three loan spells away from the Emirates over the past few seasons, he was finally elevated to a place in the first team for this campaign.

He looked right at home after having slotted into the side. Indeed, the balance of the defence with Saliba alongside Gabriel in the centre, moving Ben White out to the right, was fantastic.

How influential Saliba was became all the more evident when he was not available. A back injury kept the Frenchman out of action for the final 11 league games of the season.

During that run, Arsenal drew three games on the bounce, letting slip their title lead to Manchester City. They also lost three times – once to City themselves, giving them the upper hand, and twice more, allowing them a much easier run at the title.

Rob Holding deputised for Saliba for a chunk of his absence, and the drop off was clear.

Arsenal learn mammoth Saliba demands

Given how important he was this season, keeping Saliba around seems vital for Arsenal.

As such The Sun reports the club are ‘desperate to secure his services on a long-term basis’. Given the defender’s contract runs out next summer, getting things wrapped up now will be ideal for the Gunners.

They’ve reportedly set aside £120,000-per-week for Saliba’s deal – around triple what he earns now. However, it seems that’s not going to be enough to tie him down.

Indeed The Sun suggests Arsenal have been ‘shocked’ by demands made by the star’s representatives. As such, they are ‘currently nowhere near reaching an agreement’.

This development could lead him into the grasp of a huge European side. Indeed, the report states Arsenal fear Paris Saint-Germain ‘will pay Saliba whatever it takes’ to lure him to the club.

While Mikel Arteta ‘has no intention of selling’ Saliba this summer, his mind could wander at the thought of playing for the huge side who have held an interest in him for months.

Arsenal have to pay Saliba

Saliba has shown just how important he is to Arsenal. Their chances as the title took a nosedive while he was out, so keeping him in the side seems their best chance of ensuring that doesn’t happen again.

Of course, he has to be at the club for that to happen. It’s been suggested recently the Gunners will have £180million to make improvements to the squad this summer.

While new players will help their chances, Saliba seems the priority. As such, it would not be a surprise if they set aside more of their budget to keep him happy.

If they can ensure he remains at the club, they can build from there, which will suit them in the long run. The Gunners should not worry just yet about the star’s future.

READ MORE: Arsenal thwart former manager’s plan as Ornstein confirms Arteta has ‘no intention’ of selling underused ace