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Arsenal facing fight to keep hold of William Saliba with Atletico Madrid eyeing up free transfer move for defender

ATLETICO MADRID are keen on signing in-form Arsenal defender William Saliba, according to reports.

The Frenchman, 21, has had an impressive start after finally getting to play for the Gunners.

Atletico would like to sign Saliba

He was made to wait a couple of years for his opportunity following his £27million 2019 transfer from Saint-Etienne.

The defender spent a number of seasons out on loan back in France at St-Etienne, Nice and Marseille last term, where he impressed.

Saliba‘s contract is due to expire next summer but Arsenal have an option to extend a further year.

Nonetheless, Spanish outlet Fichajes are reporting that one of Atletico boss Diego Simeone’s “great wishes” is to sign the France international.

Atletico were believed to be close to signing Saliba before he joined Arsenal.

The 2021 LaLiga champions are in the market for a standout defender with the likes of Felipe, Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez all failing to live up to expectations.

A number of other centre-backs are being eyed if Atletico fail to land Saliba with Arsenal desperate to tie their man down to a new long-term deal.

Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez is an option for Atletico, as is Torino’s Perr Schuurs.


French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on Saliba.

The player loves living in France which could make a switch to the Parc des Princes attractive.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says when Saliba returned from loan he wasn’t sure whether their relationship was beyond repair.

The Spaniard said this month: “I was really impressed and surprised when I spoke to him.

“The way the relationship started, [I wondered] if there was damage there because he had certain expectations.

“But he was so committed just to play for Arsenal.

“If I look at how he talks about the club and how much he wants to be here, I have no doubts that he wants to continue to be here.”

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