Marseille want to sign Arsenal defender William Saliba on a permanent deal

Marseille have expressed an interest in signing Arsenal defender William Saliba on a permanent deal, Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur claims.

The Frenchman joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019, but he was loaned back to the Ligue 1 outfit as part of the agreement.

Last summer, it was anticipated that he would break into the plans of Mikel Arteta, but the centre-back failed to make a single competitive appearance.

He was loaned out to Nice at the turn of the year. The same has been the case this season with Arteta not deeming him ready to play for the Gunners.

Saliba has excelled at Marseille with eight clean sheets to his name, and it is now reported that Les Phoceens would like to sign him on a permanent basis.

Our view:

Saliba has been highly-rated by some Gunners fans. The centre-back had a productive loan spell at Nice last season, and has continued to impress for Marseille.

The 20-year-old has been hugely impressive with his distribution. He has delivered 94 percent of his passes this term while registering 1.5 tackles per game.

Despite this, he has a potential weakness when it comes to aerial duels. The Gunners have a big decision to make over his future at the end of the campaign.

Saliba was previously touted as a replacement for David Luiz, but the north London club ended up entering the transfer market to pursue Ben White.

White had a nervous start against Brentford, but he has since grown in confidence, establishing himself as an undisputed starter alongside Gabriel.

Saliba may struggle to break into the starting plans next season, and the Gunners could be tempted to cash in.

Arteta does not appear to fancy the Frenchman. He will enter the final two years of his contract next summer, and the club may struggle to renew his deal.

The Gunners signed him for £27 million, and it won’t come as a surprise if they are willing to sanction his sale to Marseille for a similar fee next summer.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Whoscored.com

Read: Arsenal sweating over Thomas Partey’s fitness ahead of Premier League clash vs Liverpool.

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