Premier League • England

William Saliba latest: New ‘exploratory survey’ arrives from Serie A side as Arsenal stick to ‘very expensive’ parameter

William Saliba playing for France

Despite William Saliba recently confirming he belongs to Arsenal ahead of the new season, Napoli are the latest club to be linked with the defender.

Saliba spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Marseille from Arsenal, for whom he has never played at senior level. They made a significant investment to acquire his services in 2019, but the Frenchman has had to be patient.

His form for Marseille has raised questions of why Arsenal haven’t found a role for him yet. As such, the Ligue 1 outfit would want to keep him, while other suitors are waiting to capitalise on his strong potential.

However, Saliba recently reminded that he is under contract with Arsenal for another two seasons. During that time, he wants to show them what they have been missing out on.

Yet those comments have not stopped other clubs taking a look at the 21-year-old. According to Gianluigi Longari of SportItalia, Saliba is now of interest to Napoli.

The Serie A side could be evolving their defence in the summer. During the second half of last season, they had Axel Tuanzebe on loan from Manchester United, but barely used him. Now, Tuanzebe will return to his parent club.

Of greater concern for Napoli, though, is the likelihood of Kalidou Koulibaly leaving. There is just one year remaining on the Senegal international’s contract. Hence, he could finally be sold this summer.

It would leave Napoli with just Amir Rrahmani and Juan Jesus as centre-back options, unless Sebastiano Luperto returns from a loan spell with Empoli. Even then, they will need to make a signing in the position.

They have been linked with Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga by Longari, but are just one of three Italian admirers. The queue for Saliba’s services will likely be even bigger, but he is now on their radar as well.

Longari has tweeted that Napoli have carried out an “exploratory survey” about Saliba. They admire his profile, but are aware he would be “very expensive”.

Saliba to Napoli would make sense if Arsenal don’t give deserved chance

Saliba would be a good signing for Napoli if he could adapt to Serie A. Especially if Koulibaly leaves, he would likely be a regular starter.

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

It remains unclear whether Arsenal will be able to match the gametime he has enjoyed with Marseille. Benjamin White and Gabriel Magalhaes have built up a partnership at the back this season for the Gunners.

However, this could finally be the time for Saliba to get a chance back at Arsenal. Perhaps he should see how pre-season goes and then make a decision on his future.

He deserves to be playing regularly, but Arsenal would not want to let him go without ever using him. The forthcoming months will be pivotal for his future.

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