Arsenal defender William Saliba is again considering an exit from the club as the signing of Ben White moves closer, a report claims.
The Gunners have made adding to their defence a priority for a crucial summer transfer window. Links initially emerged with Bayer Leverkuen’s Edmond Tapsoba, but that deal has gone cold. Instead, Brighton centre-back White has become a top target for boss Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal reportedly submitted an opening bid of £40million, but the Seagulls want £50million.
Regardless, the England international has supposedly told team-mates that he wants to move to the Emirates Stadium.
As a result, Football London now claims that his arrival in north London is ‘approaching’.
However, the report adds that the prospective signing has seen fringe defender Saliba consider his future.
The Frenchman has had a tough time at Arsenal since agreeing a deal from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019.
While he spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Saint-Etienne, he arrived in London looking forward to how his career with the Gunners would turn out.
However, Arteta faced criticism from Saliba himself after failing to secure the player a loan move before the summer 2020 window shut.
He subsequently joined Nice in January and has again moved back to London with high expectations. According to Football London, Arteta has suggested that Saliba could play a first-team role next season.
However, the arrival of White could change the manager’s mind and Arsenal could even sanction his sale.
Arteta also reportedly feels that the 20-year-old’s age is another reason to be reluctant over the defender. Although, fellow youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have transitioned excellently into the fold.
Southgate lauds excellent Arsenal man
Saka’s quick progression at Arsenal saw him earn a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad.
He played his first minutes of the tournament while making his first start in the Three Lions’ 1-0 win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old impressed too and was singled out by manager Gareth Southgate for his performance.