Atletico Madrid among several top clubs to ‘enquire over availability of William Saliba’ as future of the French international defender at Arsenal grows more uncertain
- The centre back is currently on loan at Marseille from Mikel Arteta’s side
- William Saliba has impressed with the French club this season
- He currently has two years left on his Arsenal deal which he signed in 2019
- The defender told reporters that he is uncertain where his future lies
Interest in Arsenal’s on-loan centre back William Saliba is growing, with Diego Simeone a fan of the French international and said to be keen to bring him on board at Atletico Madrid.
Saliba, who has impressed on his season-long loan at Marseille, received an international call up to the French squad last month.
Having joined the Gunners for £27m from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2019, Saliba has yet to make a competitive first-team appearance for the club and has been coy on whether his future lies with the north London side or elsewhere.
William Saliba has impressed at Marseille this season and is said to be interest of a lot of clubs
According to French publication L’Equipe, via Get French Football, several big clubs are now circling for the player who only has two years left on his current Arsenal deal.
Speaking to Le Parisien prior to Marseille’s ‘Le Classique’ with PSG in Paris on Sunday, Saliba said it was ‘thanks to Marseille’ that he had received his first French call up and there was a ‘chance’ he could remain with the club.
He said: ‘There is always a chance. I do not hide that I am very happy in Marseille.
‘I have developed, I have passed a milestone. If I make it into France’s squad it’s thanks to Marseille, because there is a lot of visibility.
‘They are a very big club with a lot of pressure, but when you’re good there are a lot of good things that happen to you.
‘We will see in May or June depending on the discussions. Today, my future, I don’t know what it is.’
The centre back is yet to make a first team appearance for his parent club Arsenal
Arsenal’s reluctance to use the young Frenchman since his much feted arrival in 2019 has caused a lot of clubs to prick their ears at the possibility that he could be let go.
He has in the past been linked to West Ham amongst other clubs.
Having joined Arsenal in 2019, Saliba has spent the last two seasons out on loan in France
Earlier in April, Saliba gave an interview in which he revealed that he would not be particularly happy if he were to return to Arsenal to sit on their bench next season.
He told L’Equipe: ‘I definitely can’t settle for being on the bench at Arsenal and being happy [with it].’
‘I want to be a starter. But then if I do get into the rotation as a substitute, it wouldn’t be like staying with the U23 and never being in the team,’ he added.
William Saliba (centre) received his first international call-up in last month’s squad
Speaking about his experience with Arsenal up to that point, he said: ‘What happened to me has seen me forge a stronger mentality.
‘It’s not because you cost €30m that you’re going to play. I see things positively.
‘Even if there are moments where you ask yourself questions. For six months, I could see I was the only one in the squad that wasn’t playing, that would hurt.’
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