The Frenchman was bought in the summer of 2019, but was immediately loaned back to Saint Etienne for the entirety of last season, in a bid to get more experience under his belt. But it now seems that Mikel Arteta does not believe Saliba is ready for Premier League yet, as the Arsenal boss is looking to let the defender leave in January.
According to L'Equipe, via Get French Football News, Arsenal met with William Saliba's representatives last week. Both parties agreed the Frenchman should move in January, whether it be a loan deal, or a permanent exit depending on the offer.
This will come as a huge surprise to Arsenal fans, who touted Saliba as their centre-back for the future. Mikel Arteta would prefer the 19-year old to go on loan to either a Premier League or Championship side, while Saliba's camp are pushing for a move back to Saint Etienne.
It is currently a complicated situation and Arsenal fans have not reacted well to the news, with some supporters asking for the club's technical director Edu to be sacked.
Expect a clearout at Arsenal in January
Arsenal will be looking to get rid of any deadwood they have in the squad this month and the clearout has already started at the club. Bosnian full-back Sead Kolasinac has already returned to Schalke on loan till the end of the season, while moves for Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi look imminent.
It will be interesting to see the decision the club make on Mesut Ozil's future, after the German was frozen out of the side at the beginning of the season.
Arsenal are hoping that they will be able to move a few more players before the transfer window closes, so as to free up space for new additions. Mikel Arteta has prioritised the acquisition of a creative midfielder during the window to help with Arsenal's goal-scoring problems.
Arsenal have been linked with Real Madrid midfielder Isco and Arteta reportedly is a huge fan of the Spanish playmaker. Isco has barely played under Zinedine Zidane and a January loan move looks on the cards.
Arsenal will hope to get their transfer business completed as soon as possible, as the Gunners currently sit 13th in the Premier League table.Published 02 Jan 2021, 20:51 IST