Ligue 1 president admits interest in summer deal for Arsenal youngster

Marseille president Pablo Longoria has admitted that he wants to strike a deal with Arsenal to keep William Saliba beyond his current loan deal.

The defender is currently enjoying his spell in Ligue 1, where he has earned himself a key role in the first-team, playing all-but 90 minutes of their entire league season thus far as they hold onto second spot in the division.

Their president has now admitted that his side intend to keep Saliba beyond the summer, but admits that he would need to find an agreement with both the player and Arsenal.

“William is one of the best young defenders I’ve seen in my career,” Longoria told La Provence (via CaughtOffside). “After all, everything depends on the three parties. It’s a matter of market value. But we have extraordinary relations with Arsenal.”

While I would love to see Saliba back at the Emirates next season, it would be no shock if we allowed him to continue his progress with Marseille next term given we already have Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes playing an important role. Problem is, if he allows the pair to continue unrivalled, the door could well be blocked for him to break into the first-team, and he may well need to come back and fight for his place sooner rather than later.

Do you think he could take minutes of White and Gabriel next term?


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  1. We will need at least 4/5 central defenders going into next season if as expected we are competing in Europe(hopefully CL) so there will be enough minutes to go round. With regards to the Marsielle president he can say what he likes about Saliba we are his parent club and they may/may not have a incoming transfer ban. If we were to sell however we should be asking for upwards of £50m and I don’t think they can afford that anyway. So no stress fellow Gooners/Goonerettes!

  2. the player we signed to the player now is a massive improvement imo.

    Dont get me wrong, i think he could have played for us last season and got minutes, but i do think if we are looking at him to be part of the squad goining forward, loaning him out was the right call.

    I dont see us selling him in the summer, i see Holding going but that depends on this USA Defender and Mari going aswel

  3. He is coming back to Emirates, I am sure now that we are back in the race for Top4 he will look at us differently too. Mikel has already started due to one thing or another he had to be loaned out and was happy to go out on loan to get minutes under his belt and play week in week out.

    It has already been confirmed we want him here for next season, he hasn’t spoke out much either against Arsenal just a few truths to which he is allowed. He’s not said a thing recently as I am sure he knows we are waiting for him to complete our CBs needed for next season. Plenty of game time for all!

    Saliba coming back leaves us with 3 quality CBs in White, Gabriel & William. The possibilities with 3 at the back and other formations is crucial, we just need to buy a RB to complete our defence.

    I think this Kid will put White out of the starting 11 and Ben could very well end up playing RB when needed also, Saliba can play there too. Mikel likes players who can play in various positions when called upon.

    Why would we sell when he have a gem on our hands for the present and future, plus then having to go spend more money with more scouting. Forget that we need to prioritise a defensive midfielder, creative midfielder and goalscoring no9 this summer.

  4. Saliba’s situation will be an interesting one,
    Personally I will be surprised if he agrees to continue with us after the way he was handled by the club. Saliba staying with us will depend entirely on if he is willing to extend his contract because his contract will soon be expiring and it’s either he agrees contract extension or arsenal will be looking to sell him now that they can sale him for a good money.
    But then again he seems happy in Marseille, playing regularly and have a good chance of playing champions league with Marseille so he may want to be where he is certain play and appreciated… at this point many of the balls lies with saliba

  5. The big problem for me is that we paid so much for White, and he’s now established himself in the first team.
    Were saliba to come in and play really well, would arteta allow saliba to keep his place over white (or Gabriel)? Essentially: is there a realistic path to the first team for saliba? It could end up as a flamini situation, where he broke into the team due to injuries only when his contract started to run down, and left for nothing in part because of past grievances.
    I’m not keen on saliba leaving at all because there’s a good chance he’ll be a top class CB, but it might be the most sensible option this summer..

    1. Shift White to DM and pair Saliba with Gabriel. Our defense is still solid, midfield improves, and frees up more money for top striker and B2B midfielder.

      White has the technique to be a DM, but still see too many lapses mentally to be the top CB we need.

      Only my opinion, but sitting White or Saliba is a waste of talent when they can both fit into starting 11 now.

      Bring in a 3rd or 4th choice CB to partner Holding and we are set.

      1. I’d like to agree, but white having some of the skills of a good DM doesn’t mean he would/could be top class there, which is what he’d have to be, otherwise there’s no point.
        Could only see it working if we started playing 3 cbs, but that would be a complete change of system that would affect other areas of the team.
        No easy answer imo.

  6. Sell if they cant pay more than we we paid for him.

    If ew dont sell this summer we will get peanuts for him as Arteta does not rate him.

  7. Arteta doesn’t rate this guy. I heard realmadrid wants him too..

    He should stay with a club where his talent is appreciated.

    Arteta do like him

  8. He is a good guy but d problem is d coach he will never allow dis players to prove thereselfs instead he will be fighting them just look at what he did with our former captain.

  9. I will be amazed if he does not come back and be a key and regular player in our team next season.

    1. I will be amazed if he does come back! If I was in his shoes I wouldn’t come back to arsenal and would seek a move

  10. Play with a back 3…

    White Saliba. Gab

    Tomi and Tierney as wing backs and have these 3 as back ups..

    Tomi. Holding. Tierney
    And new rb and tavarez as wing backs…

  11. I still haven’t watched Saliba play a full 90 minutes so have no real opinion of him as a player but he is getting good reviews and obviously has a lot of followers on here who like him

    Having said that I read that he was awarded 2/10 for his performance following a 4-1 defeat by Nice in February, starting the game at right back for some reason and then moving to be the right sided player in a back three?

    Hard to think in this way but if he wasn’t an Arsenal player already would Arsenal fans be tracking him at all and/or calling for the Club to sign him in the summer?

    He went straight on loan when we first bought him, not entirely unheard of but unusual and given what has happened since probably means that he has no real allegiance or true feelings towards Arsenal as a Club, who knows

    The Manager who had originally signed him had been sacked during that first loan period and replaced by a Manager he did not know at all and vice versa

    Nevertheless he came back for a while so they met and got to know a bit about each other but for whatever reason that did not work out and he went back on loan to France mid season as he wasn’t getting any game time in England at senior level, in hindsight maybe that second loan should have been to another English Club rather than a French one but possibly that was Saliba’s choice at the time

    We are where we are now and it’s a tricky one for both parties concerned, but a good problem to have for Arsenal in my view

    If we take the emotion out of it the Club should sell to the highest bidder in the summer as we have bought Ben White at great expense to play in that position and he has had a strong first season partnering well with Gabriel, no reason to move White to a different position in order to shoe horn Saliba in really

    If Saliba still wants to play for Arsenal either bring him back and let him try to win a place in the first team starting 11 next season or ask him to sign a new contract extending the overall period that he remains an Arsenal player, let him go back on loan at Marseille but with a clause that allows us to bring him back straight away mid season if we get long term injuries in the central defensive positions

    But from this distance everything points to Saliba wanting to play his football in France (I wonder if he has used this situation to learn or improve his English?), if so good luck to him but if we get a better offer from a (say) Spanish Club we should listen in my opinion, it would be interesting to know if anyone else was interested and if so at what value

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