The £3.8m Marseille transfer verdict that could hand William Saliba a surprise Arsenal lifeline

William Saliba’s Arsenal career could take yet another twist.

Last Friday, The Athletic reported that the 20-year-old has chosen to return home and join Marseille for what will be his third loan spell as long as the Gunners can reach an agreement with the French side.

However, reports coming out of France may just place any deal in serious doubt and leave Saliba back at square one.

According to L’Equipe, as per Le10Sport, Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli has delivered his verdict on who the club should sign in the summer transfer window to bolster his options at centre-back for the upcoming season.

In a choice between Saliba and Santos’ Luan Peres, it is claimed that the Argentine tactician would rather acquire the latter due to his greater playing experience.

Furthermore, talks with the Brazilian outfit for Peres in a deal worth €4.5m (£3.8m) is already at an advanced stage.

“We forwarded the proposal to Luan Peres,” Santos president Andres Rueda said. “The club made a proposal and we are negotiating. We assess the values at stake, the proposal is good for the player.

“This approach has turned into a proposal and it has moved forward. It is at an advanced level, but it is not complete.”

This development could have an impact on Saliba’s future and perhaps hand him an unexpected lifeline at Arsenal.

The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.

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Despite completing a £27million transfer from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019, the 20-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance in Gunners colours following two loan spells.

And if reports that Sampaoli would prefer to sign Peres are true, it remains to be seen what it would mean for the Saliba deal.

Would they still press ahead with plans to bring the youngster on loan, will he return to Arsenal to fight for his place, or will a new loan deal be struck with another team?

It’s safe to say there’s never a dull day in the life of William Saliba.

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