William Saliba is on the verge of joining Marseille on loan for the season as his Arsenal career fails to fire once again.

William Saliba looks on during the French L1 football match between Nice and Bordeaux at the "Allianz Riviera" stadium in Nice, on January 17, 2021. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)
William Saliba looks on during the French L1 football match between Nice and Bordeaux at the “Allianz Riviera” stadium in Nice, on January 17, 2021. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Despite Mikel Arteta saying that William Saliba will get a chance with the Arsenal first team in pre-season, it seems the defender is being shipped back to France before pre-season even starts.

Marseille have been chasing Saliba all summer, along with Matteo Guendouzi who has reportedly agreed a four-year deal with the Ligue 1 side. Arsenal and Marseille have struggled to come to a financial agreement for the midfielder, so this deal for Saliba could hint at movement on that front, too.

David Ornstein reports that “the 20-year-old [Saliba] had intended to compete for a place this time round but, with Arsenal attempting to sign Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White, it was decided he should head out again.”

There were a number of other clubs heavily interested in signing Saliba, including Newcastle, which would have much more sense for a player that is trying to make it at a Premier League club.

Saliba, however, picked Marseille, although should that really have been his choice? I understand that Saliba has to be happy with the move, but surely it wouldn’t have been hard to explain to him that by moving to Newcastle, or another club in the Premier League, he would do his Arsenal chances much more good.

Without any evidence at all, I’m inclined to think we will see Saliba join Marseille on a permanent deal next summer.