A report from Sport in France claims that William Saliba ‘lied’ to Marseille, leading them to believe they had a chance of signing him when he only ever wanted to return to Arsenal.
Marseille seemed to believe that they had a decent chance of signing William Saliba on a permanent basis following his successful loan spell there last season.
For a while, Arsenal fans were worried the Ligue 1 side might get their way as it was never really clear what Mikel Arteta was planning to do with the defender.
In the end, Arteta brought him back, integrated him into the squad and Saliba has now become an undroppable first-team starter who earned a call-up to the French squad for the World Cup.
So what, exactly, has Saliba said that has got Sport, and Marseille, so annoyed?
“When I was on loan, it helped motivate me every day knowing that Arsenal were watching me, were in touch with me and that soon I will be back here,” Saliba said.
“My goal has always been to come back to play here, so I knew I had to fight and work hard while I was away from the club if I wanted to come back. The club was in contact with me every week, giving me advice, encouraging me and I knew that they supported me, even though I was in France.
“I want to help the club get back to the top. I will give everything for this club to help us get back there.
“It was difficult for me too sometimes at Arsenal, not playing all the time, but sometimes sport is like that, a philosopher who is aiming for the World Cup. You don’t always have a good time, it’s part of life. It’s from the past. Now I only focus on the present and the future.”
This is what Sport call an ‘astonishing revelation because OM believed until the end they would succeed in keeping him.’
Arsenal are currently in the process of trying to get Saliba to extend his contract with the club that is due to expire in 2024.
The player is said to be giving ‘strong consideration’ to the latest offer on the table.