Qualification for the UEFA Champions League could convince Saliba to remain in Marseille.
Arsenal FC have blown hot and cold of late. They have personnel problems and are struggling to fix them. Mikel Arteta is looking for a striker after ostracising former captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. He also has to deal with a departing Alexander Lacazette but has not made headway in his quest to land another forward.
The battle to sign Dusan Vlahovic has been fought and lost, with the striker preferring Juventus over the Gunners. Many have accused Arteta of being too rigid even in the face of limited resources. It has been a fruitless effort to land players this January. The transfer window shuts in a couple of days.
Arsenal have a few players out on loan, but some are not keen on returning to the Emirates. Guendouzi is one player that harbours no interest in returning to Arsenal. Another is defender William Saliba who feels hard done by at Arsenal.
Saliba mulls Arsenal departure
Arsenal defender William Saliba is not happy with his treatment at Arsenal. There seems to be no love for the North London club, and Saliba seems not afraid to say so.
The Frenchman joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 and never got the opportunity to play for the Gunners.
The young man’s woes seemed to start with the arrival of Mikel Arteta, who deemed him not worthy to dorn the Arsenal shirt. Irked by his treatment, the Marseille loanee is not keen to return to Arsenal. Saliba is reportedly open to making his loan to Marseille a permanent move. The desire by the young man depends on Marseille qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Marseille are currently in third place, two points behind second-placed Nice.
Harsh treatment at Arsenal?
Saliba joined Arsenal in a £27 million deal in 2019 but is yet to play competitively for Arsenal, and reports suggest the 20-year-old defender wants to bring his sojourn at Arsenal to an end. La Provence report that Saliba would stay if Marseille qualify for the Champions League.
Marseille can qualify as the top two teams go straight to the group stages, while the third-place teams play in the playoffs.
Mikel Arteta still hopes to keep the French defender, who has been a standout performer in defence for the French side. Arteta said Saliba was in the long-term plans of the club.
Arteta also believes that the loan spell is good for the defender’s development.
Meanwhile, Marseille want to overturn a transfer ban imposed on them. They have appealed the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The ban was due to the long-running transfer dispute over Pape Gueye with Watford.
Gueye had signed a pre-contract with Watford, only to back out and sign a four-year deal with Marseille, which Watford appealed.