Arsenal have no plans of letting young defender William Saliba leave in the summer and want to integrate them into their first-team squad next season, as per Fabrizio Romano. Mikel Arteta wants to solidify his backline with another commanding defender to compete with Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arsenal Aiming to Negotiate New Contract for William Saliba
Arteta Keen on Utilising Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season Winner
The Gunners are looking to negotiate a new contract for Saliba after watching him excel on loan at Ligue 1 side Marseille last season. The 21-year-old centre-back was wanted back for next season by the French side, but they’ve been notified by Arsenal that exit will not take place.
Marseille have started to look for other options to replace Saliba in their backline for next season. Arteta wants the young Frenchman in his senior squad for next season after the 21-year-old confirmed his desire to return to the Emirates Stadium for the upcoming season.
With Saliba having two years remaining on his contract with the Gunners, the London giants want to hand him a more lucrative, long-term contract to ensure that the 21-year-old can be a mainstay in their squad for many years to come.
Arsenal Determined to Strengthen Defensive Line
Along with trying to secure Saliba’s future with a new deal, Arsenal are also keeping an eye on Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. The reason why Arteta appreciates the Argentine defender so much is because of his versatility and ability to play as a centre-back, left-back and even as a defensive midfielder if required.
The Gunners’ boss believes that someone like Martinez can give him new variations to try next season, but a deal is difficult to do with Ajax demanding €50 million for him.
Aaron Ramsdale managed to keep 12 clean sheets last season in the Premier League – the fifth most in the competition. Irrespective of that, Arteta isn’t happy with his side’s depth in defence and worrying struggles against major teams.
As a result, he wants to also beef up his backline to concede fewer goals and make life easier for the English goalkeeper next season. The Gunners have already signed Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira, American goalkeeper Matt Turner and are closing in on signing Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City.