Olympique Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli has confirmed that he wants to sign defender William Saliba Arsenal permanently.
Saliba has enjoyed a successful loan season for the French side, making 51 appearances at the time of writing and helping the club to second place in Ligue 1 and the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.
There has been much speculation about the 21-year-old’s future and whether he will return to Arsenal in the summer or make a permanent move, but one thing is now clear: Marseille want him to stay.
“I hope we have the opportunity to keep a player like him [Saliba]who knows the team,’ said Sampaoli, as quoted by a journalist Fabrizio Romanovia Get French Football News.
“I don’t know if it depends on OM, William or Arsenal. I don’t know the possibilities in this case.”
Saliba was signed for the Gunners from Unai Emery for £27m in 2019 before being immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne and there was much hype and expectation that the Frenchman would be a part of Arsenal’s defense for years to come would be.
But when he returned to the Emirates a year later, Emery was gone and new boss Mikel Arteta was unconvinced by the youngster and left him out of the senior team before loaning him to Nice and then Marseille.
Three years after his first signing, Saliba is yet to make his first-team debut and with Arsenal now having impressive centre-back options in the form of Gabriel Magalhaes, Benjamin White and Rob Holding, the Gunners could look to sell the defender while he still has shares has is high.
What the player wants, Saliba has previously said he is ready to accept any decision made by his parent club.
“My wish is to end the season well and leave with a good grade if I don’t come back,” he said in early May.
“It would be my pleasure to definitely come back, it’s not like I know I won’t come back, it’s Marseille, it’s my club.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/12/jorge-sampaoli-confirms-marseilles-stance-on-arsenal-loanee-william-saliba-16633830/ Jorge Sampaoli confirms Marseille's stance on Arsenal loanee William Saliba