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Saliba waiting for Arsenal talks but would be happy to stay at Marseille

11:48 GMT 23/03/2022
William Saliba Marseille 2021-22
The Gunners will soon sit down with the France defender, who is keen to find out what the club's plans are for his long-term future

William Saliba has said that he would be happy to remain at Marseille as the Arsenal defender waits to hear what his parent club's plans are for his future.

Saliba signed for the Gunners in 2019 and has since spent the majority of his time in his native France, taking in loan spells with Saint-Etienne, Nice and OM, and has emerged as one of Ligue 1's standout centre-backs.

Yet, despite the plaudits and his Arsenal contract running until 2024, there is speculation over whether he will return to north London at the season's end.

What has been said?

“I've never hidden the fact that I feel good here,” Saliba told RMC Sport. “But I don't know my future.

“There are two months left [of the season] and the most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and to go as far as possible in the [Europa] Conference League.

“I think there will be discussions between Arsenal and Marseille at the end of May or the beginning of June. That's when we will decide.

“For sure, though, staying here [with Marseille] would not be a bad idea – on the contrary. I know the city, my team-mates, my coach... but it's not just up to me.”

When put to Saliba that OM would obviously prefer to hold on to him, he added: “Yes, that's it, but we'll see how it goes. It depends on whether Arsenal agree. We'll see.”

The bigger picture

The 20-year-old's performances in France this season have seen him rewarded with a national team call-up and the upcoming talks will bring clarity as to whether the Gunners see his long-term future at the Emirates.

With Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes having formed a formidable partnership at the heart of Mikel Arteta's defence, however, it is unclear as to whether Saliba would immediately walk into Arsenal's starting XI.

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