Arsenal defender William Saliba admits he is ready to extend his stay at Marseille
‘I don’t hide that I feel good here’: Arsenal defender William Saliba is ready to extend his stay at Marseille after an impressive loan spell earned him his first call-up to France… but says he’s ready to talk to the Gunners on his future
- William Saliba says staying at Marseille ‘wouldn’t be a bad idea’
- The 20-year-old defender is on loan to the French club from Arsenal
- Saliba’s performances in Marseille earned him a first call-up for France
- He says he is ready to discuss his future with the Gunners this summer
William Saliba has hinted he could consider staying at Marseille instead of returning to Arsenal after a successful loan spell with the French club.
The highly-rated French defender signed for Arsenal from Saint-Etienne for £27m in 2019 but has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Gunners.
Saliba’s performances for Marseille since joining the Ligue 1 side on loan last summer have impressed France manager Didier Deschamps, who gave the 20-year-old his first international call-up this week.
William Saliba has impressed for Marseille since joining the French club on loan from Arsenal
Saliba (centre) could make his France debut this week after receiving his first call-up
The French club hope to be able to keep Saliba, who still has just over two years left on his contract with Arsenal.
Saliba, who has been on loan for the third time after being ruled surplus at the Emirates by manager Mikel Arteta in pre-season, said staying at Marseille ‘wouldn’t be a bad idea’ and claimed he was ready to talk to the Gunners about his future.
“I don’t hide that I feel good here but I don’t know my future,” Saliba told RMC Sport.
“The most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and go as far as possible in the Conference League.
“I think there will be discussions afterwards, at the end of May, beginning of June, with Arsenal and Marseille. We will decide then.
“But it is sure that continuing here would not be a bad idea. On the contrary, I know the city, my teammates, my coach. But it’s not just up to me.
“We’ll see how it goes, but it also depends on Arsenal, who have to agree.”
The 20-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Gunners since joining in 2019
Saliba, who has previously had loan spells with former club Saint Etienne and Nice, is hoping to make his debut for France in their upcoming friendlies.
The world champions take on Ivory Coast at the Stade Velodrome – Marseille’s home – on Friday before hosting South Africa at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille on Tuesday.
Saliba – who turns 21 on Thursday – has replaced injured Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard in the France squad for both matches.
“It’s a great pride to be here,” he added. “I found out yesterday when I woke up. I’m very proud and happy. As it’s my birthday week, it’s going to be very special.
“I don’t know if I’ll play on Friday or Tuesday, but I’m ready and enjoying it.”