Fulham is the “most likely destination” for Arsenal defender William Saliba after Gunners boss Mikel Arteta sanctioned his exit on loan, according to reports.
Saliba signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2019 under the stewardship of former manager Unai Emery.
He then re-joined Saint Etienne last season and returned to north London with the aim of making an impact at his new club.
Indeed the Daily Express claims Arteta initially had similar hopes, wanting the centre-back fight for game time as his defensive rebuild took shape.
However Saliba did not feature in the squad for Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash with Liverpool. Arteta explained that the Frenchman needs another year of “transition”.
The Express claims that fellow recent arrival Gabriel Magalhaes had an impact on Arteta’s thinking. The Brazilian has made a fantastic impact at Arsenal so far, which reportedly caused his manager to re-consider Saliba’s future.
As such, The Telegraph claims that Fulham are the most likely side to benefit from his availability.
The Cottagers have had a woeful start to the season, conceding 100 goals in four Premier League games. Manager Scott Parker changed his back four against Wolves on Sunday, but their opponents still dominated.
Indeed Fulham’s owner, Tony Kahn, controversially took to Twitter to explain his desire to bring new defenders in.
Kahn wrote: “I apologize to Fulham supporters for our performance tonight [against Aston Villa].
“We’ve looked to add centre-backs since Wembley, I’m sorry we haven’t yet as 2 got COVID + we lost a Free we thought was close + had another issue with a 4th CB.
“I promise players in + better efforts from this squad.”
Fulham targeting swoop for Chelsea star
Meanwhile, Fulham are also considering a late swoop for Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The England international has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, playing only 61 minutes in all competitions this term.
However he will have been buoyed by fellow midfielder Ross Barkley’s Aston Villa debut on Sunday, after the 26-year-old also left Chelsea on loan.
And Loftus-Cheek could get a similar move away before Monday’s transfer deadline.