There’s an interesting claim in The Mail that Newcastle have added Arsenal’s William Saliba to the expanding list of defensive targets. Gunner’s boss Mikel Arteta is still yet to decide on how the highly-rated 20-year-old figures into his plans for this upcoming season.
Newcastle see the Frenchman as a potential loan option should moves for other center-back targets falter. In Simon Jones’s report, he states that a deal for Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer is now unlikely. Though it seems a little early to make that definitive of a claim.
Saliba joined Arsenal two summers ago in a £27m move from Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne. As part of the deal, he remained in France on loan for the 2019-20 season. Last season, after spending the first-half of the campaign with Arsenal’s U23s he moved to Nice in January where he immediately went into the starting eleven.
Arteta may want to take a long look at Saliba after his impressive spell with Nice which included 20 starts in the league. There will be a squad place ready should he impress with David Luiz leaving the Emirates next month after two seasons.
The glaring issue Newcastle pursuing Saliba is it would rule out another loan move for Joe Willock. Jones addresses this by claiming that Willock will only be allowed to leave for £20m. There is also the potential he ends up with a new deal at Arsenal.
There still loads to happen before the start of the season in regards to Willock’s future and what young center-back Newcastle end up landing. Saliba seems ready to fight for his Arsenal place while I don’t see Newcastle’s pursuit of Kristoffer Ajer ending so abruptly.