Arsenal make fresh William Saliba decision as Mikel Arteta plots £30m signing

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The defender has just been called up to the France national team for the first time

Arsenal will review William Saliba’s position in the coming weeks, and as reported by football.london last week, preliminary talks over a new contract are likely. The 20-year-old joined the Gunners all the way back in the summer of 2019, but is still yet to make his senior competitive debut for Mikel Arteta’s side, with his only appearances coming for the under-23s and in pre-season friendlies.

Playing time has been the main issue for the youngster who has been keen to get minutes under his belt as he seeks to continue his development.

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With the arrival of £50 million signing Ben White in the summer and Gabriel forming a solid partnership next to him, there remains a possibility that Saliba could be used as a rotational option if the Gunners qualify for Europe.

Saliba could also offer cover at right back having spent time in the position while at Marseille, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Hector Bellerin both set to leave permanently this summer. The news that the 20-year-old wants to return in the summer echoes the sentiments of manager Mikel Arteta, who stated back in September that he was still part of his plans.

Saliba, who joined from Saint-Etienne for £30m two years ago, sees his current deal expires in the summer of 2024 and as first reported by football.london preliminary talks will be opened towards the end of his loan spell with Marseille.

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“He will come back for pre-season and he will be with us,” the Spaniard said. “Hopefully he will come back after playing a number of games and his performance raising and his development progressing in the right way. That’s why we made that decision.

“I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.”

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