Arsenal have now informed William Saliba that they’re counting on him and want him to extend his deal, but Marseille are still waiting to make a move.

France's defender William Saliba passes the ball during the friendly football match between France and Ivory Coast at the velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France, on March 25, 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
France’s defender William Saliba passes the ball during the friendly football match between France and Ivory Coast at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France, on March 25, 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

L’Equipe report that Mikel Arteta has told William Saliba he’ll be counting on him next season, and Arsenal are talking about the possibility of a contract extension.

Saliba spent the season on loan with Marseille, who are still holding out hope of a transfer. Their current plan is to wait until later in the summer so that if Arsenal aren’t giving Saliba regular games, they can try and lure him away then.

With the World Cup coming up later this year, Marseille hope that if Saliba isn’t playing regularly by late August, he’ll push to leave.

For the time being, that all suggests Saliba is going to be focusing entirely on Arsenal for the next couple of months.

The centre-back is still under contract until 2024, whether he extends or not, and recent quotes from the player suggest he wants to make an impression with his parent side.

“I belong to Arsenal,” Saliba said. “I still have two years left. I will be at pre-season with Arsenal.

“I have played zero matches and I still want to show them my true face and have the chance to play for these fans and this great club.”

fbl fra training friendly
(from L) France’s defender Presnel Kimpembe, France’s defender Jonathan Clauss and France’s defender William Saliba attend a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines near Paris on March 27, 2022, ahead of the friendly football match against South Africa. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s reported desire to keep Saliba seems to be backed up by Mikel Arteta’s recent quotes on the subject, speaking to RMC Sport.

“He has to come back,” Arteta said. “He has the experience and the necessary environment to be competitive with us.

“If he had stayed with us this year, with one Premier League game a week and with Ben White and Gabriel, he wouldn’t have had half the game time he had with Marseille, that’s for sure.

“In terms of his growth and what he could do next year, it wouldn’t have been good. William wasn’t with us because he wouldn’t have had the playing time required to gain experience. That’s it, nothing else.”

Saliba is now a France international and Young Player of the Year award winner coming off the back of a 51-game season with a top-two club in Ligue 1 at just 21 years old. He needs a chance at Arsenal.

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