Marseille are still looking to sign William Saliba on a permanent deal from Arsenal, but the Gunners aren’t interested right now.

Marseille's French defender William Saliba (C) runs with the ball during the French L1 football match between Olympique Marseille (OM) and Lyon (OL) at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, southern France, on May 1, 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Marseille’s French defender William Saliba (C) runs with the ball during the French L1 football match between Olympique Marseille (OM) and Lyon (OL) at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, southern France, on May 1, 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Foot Mercato report that Marseille have approached Arsenal over the possibility of a permanent transfer for William Saliba, hoping to figure out the Gunners conditions to sell.

But whilst Saliba might consider another year in France, Arsenal aren’t interested, and Mikel Arteta is now keen to keep the defender around.

Marseille are ready to make a significant financial effort to bring Saliba in, it’s just hard to imagine them raising enough to convince Arsenal to sell.

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

Whilst the French media keep talking up Saliba’s desire to return to Marseille, the player suggested the opposite in a June interview.

“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.”

Marseille's French defender William Saliba reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final second leg football match between Feyenoord and Olympique de Marseille (OM) Feyenoord stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam,on April 28, 2022. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Marseille’s French defender William Saliba reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final second leg football match between Feyenoord and Olympique de Marseille (OM) Feyenoord stadium de Kuip in Rotterdam,on April 28, 2022. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/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.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.