Man Utd interest in incredible hijack of Arsenal deal emerges just before definitive blow

William Saliba, Granit Xhaka, Arsenal, October 2022

Manchester United have been showing an interest in William Saliba recently, it has been claimed, but the defender’s future at Arsenal is becoming clearer.

Saliba is about to enter the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium, which has been a concern for Arsenal for a while. The centre-back finally got his chance to impress in the Premier League this season after a series of loan spells away.

Having established himself as one of Arsenal’s main centre-backs now, the Premier League runners up have been reluctant to lose him. But interest has been building from elsewhere.

Fortunately for Arsenal, an agreement is now on the horizon for Saliba to extend his stay in north London.

According to RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins, though, Man Utd have been trying to meddle with the situation.

Hawkins has claimed that Man Utd, as well as Bayern Munich, were interested in Saliba until they found out he would be more likely to renew his contract with Arsenal.

Man Utd are in the market for a new defender this summer. In an ideal world, they are ready to offload Harry Maguire and bring in someone to take over from Raphael Varane as the main centre-back partner to Lisandro Martinez.

Their top target in that regard appears to be Kim Min-jae from Napoli, but they seem to have given thought to Saliba too after his breakthrough season in the Premier League.

Arsenal keeping Saliba away from Man Utd

Saliba played 33 times in all competitions after his integration into the first-team fold at Arsenal. His injury towards the end of the season may well have been one of the factors that saw them lose steam in the title race.

The fact that Saliba is set to stick around at Arsenal should boost their chances of being more competitive again in upcoming seasons.

As Hawkins has reflected, his new contract with the Gunners should last for four years with the option of a fifth. And given that he is only 22 years old now, he could become an even better player in that time.

Arsenal will be the club who get to enjoy Saliba’s development, rather than a rival like Man Utd.

Even if Erik ten Hag’s side were serious about Saliba, Arsenal would likely have tried to stand in their way of a deal. After all, selling a regular starter to the side that finished one place below them in the 2022-23 Premier League table wouldn’t have been wise.

But after all the speculation, the Frenchman’s future looks set to be confirmed as being in north London.

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