Premier League • England

Arsenal told of big transfer problem with Real Madrid eyeing star who is ‘now worth £150m’

Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and William Saliba of Arsenal next to the Real Madrid badge

Saka, Odegaard and Saliba of Arsenal next to the Real Madrid badge

Arsenal have been told Real Madrid are ready to get serious in their attempts to prise a quality star away from Emirates Stadium – though the Gunners are being advised they could easily demand £150m for a star now seen as one of the best in the world in his position.

The Spanish giants are gearing up for the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium on June 2 where surprise finalists Borussia Dortmund stand in their way of winning a 15th European crown. Having already wrapped up the LaLiga title too, with some ease, it’s turning out to be a season to remember for the Spanish giants.

However, like any good side, Real Madrid do not stand still and efforts to strengthen them further and ensure their domination continues are already well underway. And in a matter of weeks they are expected to formally announce the capture of Kylian Mbappe in what will be the most high-profile free transfer of all time.

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Carlo Ancelotti, however, is also keen to strengthen his defensive options too, having cleared the path for Los Blancos veteran, Nacho, to move on this summer.

And with another experienced campaigner in Dani Carvajal out of contract in 2025, it’s little surprise to see Real paying close attention to a number of potential defensive recruits.

To that end, they have been strongly linked with moves for teenage Lille star Leny Yoro, while Bayern’s dependable left-back Alphonso Davies is another player on their radar. Liverpool full-back, turned midfielder Trent Alexander-Arnold is another ambitious target.

Real Madrid keen on French colony at the Bernabeu

However, in recent weeks it’s been suggested they have also taken a fancy to Arsenal star William Saliba and want to build themselves something of a French colony at the Bernabeu, with Mbappe set to join Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni on their books.

The 23-year-old was forced to bide his time before getting a chance in the Arsenal first team, having spent spells on loan with former side, St Etienne, and Marseille before being afforded his chance.

But having made himself one of the first names on the Gunners teamsheet, Saliba made history last weekend by playing every minute of every Premier League game this season; making him only the 16th Arsenal player to be an ever-present over a single Premier League campaign and with James Tarkowski (Everton) and Max Kilman (Wolves) the only others to match his feat.

Now considered among the best, if not the best, defender in the Premier League, Saliba will also be a big part of France’s plans this summer to win the 2024 European Championships.

However, amid claims that Real would love to bring the 13-times capped star to the Bernabeu, the Spanish giants have been warned that they may need to spend far higher than initially expected on his signing.

Huge fee needed to prise William Saliba from Arsenal

Debating his valuation on talkSPORT, pundits Andy Townsend and Jason Cundy now believe the Gunners have a £150m-rated player on their hands.

Cundy began the valuation of the defender by stating: “I am going to go £130m.”

Townsend then asked: “Do Arsenal sell at that price?” to which Cundy replied: “Maybe. If they did, Arsenal fans listen to this. They couldn’t come on TalkSPORT and moan about the price. I think they would moan about him going and they will be complaining, and understandably rightly so.

“But if someone comes in with £130m, the problem they have got then, Arsenal, he has been the best centre-back in the country.”

Townsend added: “He has been incredible this season.”

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Cundy then appeared to change his mind, instead suggesting an even higher mark.

“I am not sure that gets him. I have just changed my mind. I am not sure that gets him. I think you might be coming in, I am going to go £150m.”

Townsend countered that by stating: “That’s an unbelievable amount of dough.”

Cundy reasoned though: “The thing is, centre-halves of that quality, try and find them. Give me another three that’s near him, of his age. £150m! I have just changed my mind!”