Atletico Madrid join transfer race for William Saliba

22/04/2022; 9:58 AM By : Steven D. Thompson

The season might be nearly over for Atletico Madrid, but the La Liga defending champions are already plotting ahead for next term. The capital city club is poised to end the season trophyless, but plans are in full swing to prepare a solid platform to launch a massive assault in all competitions next season.

Atletico put up a brave fight against Manchester City in the quarter-final of the Champions League before crashing out to a lone first-leg goal. With a couple of their players leaving the Wanda Metropolitano soon, Los Rojiblancos want to shore up their squad as they prepare to wrest the La Liga title from the new champions next season.

Diego Simeone is a manager famed for instilling defensive steel in his side, and the Argentine wants to bring in another defender in the summer. Simeone has eyes on Arsenal's on-loan centre back, William Saliba. He wants to bring the young defender to Wanda Metropolitano in the summer.

Simeone eyes Saliba

William Saliba has struggled to make a first-team appearance for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta reposed no confidence in the young lad and had him shipped off on a season-long loan move to Marseille. Saliba impressed Marseille and received an international call up to the French squad.

The performances of the young defender have not gone unnoticed, with Diego Simeone now a fan of Saliba. With the youngster’s loan deal at Marseille about to expire, Simeone is keen to bring him to Madrid.

Saliba joined the Gunners from Saint Etienne in 2019 for £27 million but is yet to make a competitive first-team appearance for the club. With pressure on him, Saliba is careful in choosing where his future lies. He is coy about remaining at Arsenal or joining another club.

Interest from several clubs

French publication L'Equipe, via Get French Football, report that several big clubs are keeping a close eye on Saliba. The young defender has only two years left on his Arsenal contract.

In a chat with Le Parisien before 'Le Classique' with PSG on Sunday, Saliba thanked Marseille for the opportunity granted him. He cited it as the reason he got an international call-up. Saliba said there remains a chance of staying back at the club. He confessed to being happy at Marseille.

The chances of returning to Arsenal are slim as Saliba favours remaining at Marseille. In fact, odds from bookmakers hint at a permanent summer move to Marseille for the youngster.

Saliba revealed in a recent interview that he would not be happy if forced to return to Arsenal to sit on the bench. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s reluctance to field the player has attracted the interest of several clubs keen on sharing the youngster. Diego Simeone currently heads the queue of interested parties.

Saliba said he does not know what the future holds for him, but it would become clearer by June, depending on discussions.

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