Newcastle are back in the transfer hunt for Arsenal defender William Saliba after the Gunners threw doubt over his move to Marseille, a report claims.
The Frenchman has endured a tough time at Arsenal since signing from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2019. He moved back to his old employers for the 2019/20 season, in the hope of subsequently staking a claim at Arsenal. However, he then missed out on another loan away last summer, facing a hard few months.
Saliba did seal a transfer back to France in January, but the question of his future has now come back into view.
This time, though, talk has emerged of his permanent exit from the Emirates Stadium. Manager Mikel Arteta has reportedly had a change of heart over his plan for Saliba, with Ben White potentially signing from Brighton.
As a result, Newcastle have emerged as one suitor to keep the defender in the Premier League. Southampton have also shown interest, but Marseille have since entered the fray.
Reports claimed that Saliba is closing in on another loan spell in France. Now, though, journalist Fabrice Hawkins has claimed otherwise.
He wrote on Twitter (via Get French Football News) that Arsenal refused Marseille’s demand to include a purchase option worth between €15million (£13million) and €20million (£17million).
As a result, the race to snap up Saliba has opened up again. Indeed, Newcastle and Southampton are now firmly back in the race, according to Foot Mercato (via Twitter).
The report does not mention any firm approaches for the centre-back from the Premier League duo.
However, they have new interest amid his fresh availability.
Offloading Saliba could form part of Arteta’s plan to overhaul his squad this summer. The hunt is reportedly on to find striker Alexandre Lacazette a new club.
Villa eye Arsenal transfer raid
However, Emile Smith Rowe is one player who Arsenal do not want to let go of this summer, despite the interest in him.
The 20-year-old turned the Gunners’ season on its head with his displays during the festive period.
Aston Villa have subsequently had two bids rejected for him, but are reportedly planning another.