Arsenal defender William Saliba has revealed that he is open to staying at Marseille beyond the end of the season.
The Frenchman is expected to return to the Emirates when his loan deal expires in June but the centre-back has dropped the biggest hint yet that he wants a permanent move away from the Gunners:
“I’ve never hidden the fact that I feel good here at Marseille. I don’t know what my future will hold. There are two months of the season to go. The main things are to qualify for the Champions League, and go as far as we can in the Conference League.”
“I think there will then be discussions between Arsenal and Marseille at the end of May or beginning of June, and we will then make a decision. But it would not be a bad idea for me to continue here – in fact quite the opposite. I know the city, my teammates and the coach. But it is not down to me alone.”
Saliba’s comments haven’t gone down too well with fans on Twitter with many worried that the club will lose one of Europe’s top young talents:
— Koré #techjr (@Eli_Cube) March 23, 2022
Please come back to Arsenal
— Alan robertson (@Alanrob66688718) March 24, 2022
It looks like Saliba doesn’t want to come back to Arsenal and from his choice of words he doesn’t want talk bad of his parent club Arsenal but want to just remain in Marseille.
— Khumbudzo Munyai (@Khumbu_M) March 23, 2022
Arteta please do no ruin his chance with arsenal.
— Ashaka (Arsenal) (@alameen2452) March 23, 2022
Honestly, I would be devastated if he left, but at this point, I trust Arteta and the recruiting staff so much that I’m pretty sure we would find a similarly talented and exciting player as his replacement in next years’ squad.
— David Reichert (@DavidReichert1) March 23, 2022
No one said they are selling anybody
— Pawa 👊🏾🌍🤴🏾 (@pawahussle) March 23, 2022
U saying bs bro, Gabi n White are doing it in one of the hardest leagues.
— Khes Cizzy 23 (@ThnKhes) March 24, 2022
Arsenal are in a difficult position. Saliba will have just two years remaining on his contract in the summer and they intend to open talks over an extension.
If he refuses a new deal, the Gunners will have a decision to make on his future. They cannot guarantee him first-team football, with Ben White and Gabriel having struck up a strong centre-back partnership this season.
However, they won’t want to let Saliba leave either. The defender has just been called up to France’s senior squad for the games against Ivory Coast and South Africa this week and he looks to be improving all the time. Hopefully, he can be convinced to stay.