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William Saliba and Marseille agree on Arsenal transfer as Sampaoli delivers worrying verdict

By Jake Stokes

Doubt has been casted over the future of William Saliba at Arsenal ahead of next season following comments from Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli. The 21-year-old has impressed on loan at the French giants this season, proving himself to be one of Europe's most exciting young talents.

Saliba has featured 35 times for Marseille in Ligue 1, steering the club within touching distance of sealing Champions League qualification. In an interview with French outlet RMC Sport in the summer, the defender claimed that Mikel Arteta told him that he wasn't ready and the Spaniard has since been left to rue his decision.

He has since grown into one of France's most acclaimed defenders whilst on loan this season. While many Arsenal fans may be keen to see the centre-half return to London Colney in the summer and bolster the north London side's backline, Sampaoli has claimed that there's a 'possibility' that Saliba could turn his loan spell into a permanent switch in the upcoming transfer window.

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As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, via gffn, the Marseille boss said: "I hope that there is a possibility for us to keep a player like him, who knows the team. I don’t know if it depends on Marseille, William or Arsenal - I don’t know the possibilities in this case."

Though worryingly for Arteta, Saliba agrees with Sampaoli and has previously admitted that there could be a chance that he closes the curtains on a future at Arsenal. Speaking in an interview after being asked whether he will stay at Marseille next season, the defender 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," Saliba added. "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."

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Dive Deeper:
Arsenal transfers: Marseille ‘hope’ to keep William Saliba at the club next season
Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli hopes to keep Arsenal loanee William Saliba at the club this summer.
Marseille coach makes William Saliba desire clear as Arsenal face transfer decision
The Arsenal defender has impressed on-loan in Ligue 1 with Marseille and his adoptive boss has already expressed his desire…
Rob Holding sends Mikel Arteta key William Saliba reminder amid Arsenal's Champions League cloud
Rob Holding's performance against Spurs gives William Saliba an Arsenal boost ahead of next season
William Saliba proves to Mikel Arteta why Arsenal must turn down AC Milan's transfer approach
Arsenal must turn down AC Milan's reported approach for William Saliba
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Arsenal 'counting' on William Saliba as Mikel Arteta makes transfer call amid defence shortage
Uncertainty over the Frenchman's future could finally be coming to an end this summer
William Saliba wanted by AC Milan with Mikel Arteta still to decide Arsenal transfer dilemma
William Saliba joined Arsenal for a mammoth £27million fee in 2019 but is yet to play a competitive minute since…
Get all your news in one place