Six months and out! Arsenal get set to send William Saliba back to France as he takes a medical at Nice TODAY to seal a loan move with no fee… after ZERO appearances and leaving Mikel Arteta ‘fed up’ since arriving following £27m deal
- Arsenal defender William Saliba is set for a loan move back to France
- The 19-year-old has not been part of Mikel Arteta’s first-team plans this season
- He has struggled to make impact after difficult loan spell at St Etienne last year
Arsenal defender William Saliba is discussing a loan move back to France with Nice.
The 19-year old is due to have a medical on Monday.
Saliba was bought from St Etienne in a deal worth up to £27million but has yet to make a competitive first team appearance for Arsenal with Mikel Arteta admitting he was ‘fed up’ with the situation.
Arsenal defender William Saliba is discussing a loan move back to France with Nice
Mikel Arteta admitted he was ‘fed up’ with the situation surrounding the teenage defender
He was sent back on loan to St Etienne last season as part of his transfer deal and made 17 appearances.
St Etienne were interested in taking him on loan again but he is now poised to join Nice, who will not pay a fee but will cover the defender’s wages.
It comes after reports in France last week that Saliba was willing to take a significant wage cut in order to secure a move from Arsenal this January.
According to Canal Plus, Saliba was open to moving down to a £90,000-a-month salary in order to seal a move to former club St Etienne.
Saliba, who is believed to earn around £160,000-a-month in his current Arsenal contract, came through the St Etienne youth ranks and made his first-team debut in September 2018.
Saliba has yet to make a single appearance since joining for £27million in the summer of 2019
Saliba (right) had been linked with a move to former club Saint-Etienne in the January window
Arteta admitted in November he was frustrated by the situation surrounding Saliba, whose season back in France was hampered by injury issues and the coronavirus pandemic.
He said in November: ‘I’m fed up with the situation because, as you could see, we tried to find a way in the last few days to give him some football.
‘I explained that he needed that transition year when we decided to buy him and send him on loan to Saint-Etienne. For many reasons, that didn’t happen – he didn’t have that transition year and he needs to go through that.
‘At the moment, with the amount of central defenders we have in the team, we had to leave him out of the squad, which is painful. Now we have some injuries and we could have used him but this is part of the profession.’
Saliba was left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad at the start of the season by Arteta
The Spaniard admitted then that a January move looked likely.
‘We certainly tried in the last few days of the transfer window to find the right club but we could not,’ he added.
‘We will review the situation in the next few weeks and sit down with him and see what is the best thing to do. But it will depend on him and other players’ situations as well.’
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