Arsenal are set to block 23-year-old from playing at 2024 Paris Olympics to manage his game time: Reports

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Arsenal are reportedly blocking William Saliba from representing France at the 2024 Paris Olympics

Arsenal are reportedly set to block defender William Saliba from playing at the 2024 Paris Olympics to manage his fatigue. According to Le Parisien, the 23-year-old will not be allowed to represent France in their first Olympic football tournament at home in 100 years.

Les Bleus' Under-23 side at the competition will be coached by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. The 46-year-old has already been informed by multiple clubs, most notably Real Madrid, that he cannot select any of their French players to the Olympic squad.

Saliba had an extremely demanding 2023-24 campaign at the Emirates. He played every single minute of all 38 Premier League games and also started all 10 of Arsenal's Champions League games.

Including his singular appearances in the Community Shield and FA Cup, the French defender played 50 games (all starts) over the season.

Saliba will likely be the starting centre-back for France at the upcoming UEFA European Championships. With his side being one of the favorites to win the tournament, he is likely to be called into action until mid-July.

The Olympic football tournament starts just ten days (July 24) after the final of Euro 2024 (July 14).

Arsenal will begin their pre-season on July 28 against fellow Premier League side Manchester United in Los Angeles, USA.

Just three days later, the Gunners have a game against Arne Slot's Liverpool in Philadelphia. They do not want Saliba to miss pre-season preparations for the 2024-25 season, and the tight schedule simply doesn't allow for his participation at the Olympics.

Pundit claims Arsenal star William Saliba's current market valuation should be £130 million

According to pundit Jason Cundy on talkSPORT, Arsenal centre-back William Saliba's current market valuation should be £130 million. He feels Frenchman should be one of the costliest players in the world, reflecting his status as one of the best defenders in the sport.

Cundy said:

"I am going to go £130 million. Maybe. If they did, Arsenal fans listen to this. They couldn't come on TalkSPORT and moan about the price. I think they would moan about him going [potentially leaving the club] and they will be complaining, and understandably rightly so. But if someone comes in with £130 million, the problem they have got then, Arsenal, he has been the best centre-back in the country."

According to reports from TEAMTalk, Spanish giants Real Madrid are plotting a move for Saliba in the future and monitoring his situation at Arsenal closely. For the moment, the 23-year-old seems content at Arsenal, having signed a contract extension until 2027 at the start of the 2023-24 campaign.

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