Arteta ‘counts on’ returning £27m defender as Arsenal ‘want to extend his contract’

According to reports, Mikel Arteta is ‘counting on’ William Saliba ahead of next season and Arsenal ‘want to extend his contract’.

A fee of £27m was paid by Arsenal to bring Saliba to the Premier League in 2019. He is yet to make his debut for the Gunners.

After spells at Saint-Etienne and Nice, he joined Marseille on loan ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

Saliba played 52 times for Marseille across all competitions and he was one of the standout players in Ligue 1.

The 21-year-old was named in Ligue 1’s Team of the Year and he won the division’s Young Player of the Year award.

The centre-back has confirmed that he will be spending next season at Arsenal.

L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) are reporting Arteta is ‘counting on’ Saliba in the lead up to the 2022/23 campaign.

It is also stated that the Gunners ‘want to extend his contract’. Marseille are keen to keep Saliba but Arsenal’s stance makes this ‘complex’.

The report adds that if Saliba ‘isn’t satisfied with his game time’ at the Emirates, the Ligue 1 side will then ‘attack’.

Elsewhere, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Arsenal want to sign Gabriel Jesus this summer ‘at all costs’, but face competition from four other clubs.

Jesus – who notched 13 goals and 12 assists for City last term – has one year left to run on his current deal at the Etihad, and City are thought to want around £45m for his services.

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Arsenal have been linked for some time with Mikel Arteta keen on reuniting with Jesus having worked with him as assistant coach at City, while Real Madrid have been added to the mix in recent days.

And a report on Tuesday claimed Chelsea are showing ‘strong interest’, with new owner Todd Boehly ‘preparing a formal proposal’ for the 25-year-old.

Romano, in his column for CaughtOffside, claims five clubs have been in touch with Jesus’ agent, insisting the Brazilian will leave City this summer.

He wrote: ‘There are five clubs that have contacted Gabriel Jesus’ agents, not just Arsenal. Chelsea have had contacts in recent weeks, as have Real Madrid, but the Spanish club have not advanced in contacts.

‘Gabriel will leave Manchester City – 100%, and Arsenal want him at all costs as priority striker, Manchester City are asking about €50-55m for the Brazilian: in the coming days the situation will be clearer.’

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