Premier League • England

Marseille still ‘confident’ of keeping Arsenal puzzle Saliba as offer range is revealed

William Saliba Marseille March 2022

Despite several indications that Arsenal will welcome back William Saliba this summer, reports in France still claim Marseille are trying to keep the defender.

Saliba spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Marseille from Arsenal. It was the most successful campaign of his career so far. Winning the award for Ligue 1’s young player of the season, Saliba showed his parent club what they have been missing.

In fairness, Benjamin White and Gabriel Magalhaes had their own good partnership at the back for Arsenal last term. But the fact Saliba has still never played for the club, whom he joined in 2019, continues to raise eyebrows.

TEAMtalk understands the plan is for Arsenal to finally reintegrate the 21-year-old this summer. Several other sources have been indicating he will finally get his chance at the Emirates Stadium.

However, after giving him more than 50 appearances last season, Marseille are not giving up hope of getting him to stay in France.

According to RMC Sport, Marseille still think there is a “possibility” that they can keep Saliba permanently. In fact, they are “confident” thanks to the player’s openness to returning to Stade Velodrome.

The French outlet claims Marseille are hoping Saliba may be available for a price between €25m and €30m. In Arsenal’s money, that means they could receive an offer between £21.5m and £25.8m.

Saliba is under contract with his parent club for two more years. Arsenal are likely to put up obstacles to prevent Marseille taking him back.

RMC suggest Marseille want to invest in Saliba because they feel they could make a profit on him in future. That said, Arsenal may feel he is worth more than the figures suggested right now.

From the player’s perspective, either door seems to be open. Saliba is said to be “very respectful” of Arsenal, despite his interest in a return to Marseille.

Saliba set for chance to impress, as Marseille make list of alternatives

The Ligue 1 outfit are willing to be patient in their pursuit to see what happens. Therefore, Saliba should get his chance to impress Mikel Arteta during pre-season with Arsenal.

William Saliba wants to fight for his place at Arsenal

William Saliba wants his Arsenal return and is ready to fight for his place in the Arsenal back four

In the meantime, Marseille are drafting up a list of alternatives. For example, they are keeping tabs on Facundo Medina, Isaak Toure and Riechedly Bazoer.

The latter is becoming a free agent, while the other two should also be cheaper than Saliba. But the continuity that could be provided by the Arsenal man makes him an appealing proposition for them to remember.

Still, this season could finally be his time to shine in the Premier League. Still only 21, he will need to have a good pre-season before competing for his place.

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