AC Milan are reportedly plotting a move for Arsenal defender William Saliba, with the Gunners set to make a final decision on his future over the coming weeks. The Italian side nabbed Fikayo Tomori last summer while he was out of favour at Chelsea, and could repeat that approach this time around with another highly-rated young centre-back.
The Gunners splashed out £27million on Saliba back in 2019, so while Milan would struggle to negotiate a bargain deal, his precarious situation with Arsenal suggests that this summer may be the perfect time to strike. The 21-year-old has become a full French international during his most recent loan spell with Marseille, where he has made a fantastic impression.
It is perhaps understandable that a player of his talent is unhappy that he is yet to make a senior appearance for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta sent him out on a third successive loan spell last summer, which certainly won’t work in his favour if he has to try and convince Saliba to stick around.
The Mirror claim that AC Milan are posturing to launch a move that would test Arsenal’s resolve. They had a simple enough time nabbing Tomori from Chelsea while he was out of favour, and capitalising on Saliba’s uncertain situation could yield a similarly successful outcome.
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When pressed on his future, Saliba has made it clear that securing regular football and a spot in the French national team will always be a high priority. Milan putting guaranteed minutes on the table could therefore spur their swoop into life.
Arteta would surely face backlash if his reluctance to phase Saliba into the side effectively made up his mind to depart. Gunners fans have patiently awaited the youngster’s return from France, where he has been a prominent fixture in Jorge Sampaoli’s side.
The Ligue 1 title is mathematically out of reach, but Marseille head up the rest of the pack behind Paris Saint-Germain.
“He’s a top player at his position,” said the Argentine coach. “We were lucky to get him on loan, it wasn’t simple. He’s great at marking, but good bringing the ball out too. He’s a future great of French football, he’s very good at starting plays.
“He’s adapted to a three at the back well, and his performances are linked to the team’s, which likes to play from the back.”