Olympique Marseille president Pablo Longoria had dinner with William Saliba’s agent Djibril Niang in London on Monday, according to a report.
The agent himself confirmed he was in London with a post on Instagram (shown above).
It’s hard to say exactly what this means. For a start, Saliba isn’t Niang’s only client.
The agent also represents Isaak Toure, who moved to Marseille just a few weeks ago. So there are reasons for the two parties to meet beyond talks over Saliba.
Romano reports that Arsenal consider Saliba an important part of the team, so even if Niang and Longoria were discussing the Arsenal defender, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s any real possibility of a transfer.
But perhaps Saliba’s agent is keen to set up a contingency plan in case his client drops out of the Arsenal team for the competitive matches.
For the time being, it looks like Mikel Arteta is keen to start Saliba, but we’ll only know for sure when the Premier League season begins.
It’s obviously hugely important for the defender that he’s playing regular matches, as the World Cup is now just around the corner and he has a shot at making the French national team squad.
If Saliba is suddenly on the bench throughout August, his agent would likely want to be prepared to push for a late transfer.
Marseille are obviously keen to bring the defender back. That’s never been in much doubt.
Yet regardless of the intentions of Marseille and Saliba’s agent, you’d expect Arsenal to keep the player around for the coming campaign.