Arsenal could soon be bracing themselves for offers to come their way for centre-back William Saliba.
That is because, according to a report by German news outlet Kicker, Bayer Leverkusen are keen on acquiring the Frenchman’s signature this summer.
They claim that Leverkusen have been impressed by what they have seen from the 20-year-old during the second half of this season whilst on loan at French club Nice. Saliba joined the Ligue 1 outfit in January for the remainder of the campaign in a bid to gain regular first-team football, with his move to Arsenal from Saint-Etienne having not worked out.
At this moment in time, the Frenchman, who certainly has plenty of potential within his locker, is still waiting to make his senior debut for the Gunners, despite officially joining them almost two years ago.
Now that Leverkusen are now sniffing around and keen to reportedly lure him to the Bundesliga, Saliba could be tempted to jump ship if the German club are ready to offer him a new permanent home and regular first-team football.
In truth, you could not blame the youngster too much. Football careers are short and can come to an end at any time if injuries intervene.
However, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who guided his side to five wins from their last five Premier League matches this season, has already hinted that the youngster could have a long-term role to play at the Emirates Stadium, after admitting that he would take a close look at him during pre-season ahead of the 2021/22 season.
“He will come back for pre-season and he will be with us,” said the Spaniard back in February. “Hopefully he will come back after playing a number of games and his performance raising and his development progressing in the right way.
“That’s why we made that decision [to send him out on loan].
“I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan.
“But a lot of things have happened to him he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough.
“For him he needs much more than that, because what happened in the last 18 months, he’s been through some personal problems as well that we have to try to help him and stay as close as possible to him.
“And now he needs to play, play and play and enjoy his profession as well. And in order to do that I think we found the right club with him.
“He’s very happy to got there now. Hopefully he can enjoy his football and be ready for us for next season.”
Arsenal’s new pearl ‘citrine pale yellow’ is available to buy now from ArsenalDirect.
Purchases will be exclusive to Arsenal and kit manufacturers Adidas until May 20.
The jersey is inspired from an old classic from the club’s past, celebrating 50 years since the club won the league and FA Cup double.
This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it.Learn more
Given that David Luiz will soon be exiting the club, Arteta will not want to be left short on options at centre-back, previously admitting that he wants to have a pool of four or five players to choose from, which is a sensible and respectable figure.
Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari are the three you would expect to be at Arsenal next season, meaning Saliba would comfortably increase that number.
Of course, Leverkusen may make Arsenal an offer they cannot refuse, but Arteta seems willing to hand the Frenchman a long-awaited opportunity to prove his worth in England.