German club Bayer Leverkusen have expressed an interest in signing Arsenal centre-back William Saliba.
That is according to a report by German media outlet Kicker, who say the Bundesliga side are keen on landing the youngster on a permanent basis this summer.
Saliba, who is 20-years-old, joined Arsenal in the summer of 2019 from French club Saint-Etienne, but part of the agreement saw him stay in France with Saint-Etienne on loan for the entirety of the 2019/20 season.
However, after returning to the Emirates Stadium last summer in the hope that he would become a first-team regular for Mikel Arteta’s side this season, Saliba’s wishes could not have been further from reality, with the youngster still, to this present day, waiting to make his senior debut for the club.
After a few Under-23s appearances in the EFL Trophy during the first half of the season, Saliba left the Emirates Stadium on loan once again in January, this time joining French outfit OGC Nice for the remainder of the season.
Saliba has since excelled in Ligue 1, making 20 appearances and scoring one goal.
His form has caught the eye of Leverkusen, who are now said to be keen on signing him this summer, although his future in north London is yet to be decided.
At the time of joining Nice, Saliba opened up on his Arsenal future, admitting that he found life difficult at the club so far, as well as refusing to put forward a definitive answer on what could happen next season.
Speaking back in January, Saliba said: “My first six months (at Arsenal) were difficult, because I was coming from six months where I wasn’t able to train because I was at home (because of the pandemic), and couldn’t train outside, couldn’t play.
“I arrived there as they were finishing the leagues season, so I was training alone. As soon as they came back from holidays, we quickly had the first friendly matches where I lacked rhythm and was a bit insufficient physically.
“The coach immediately told me that I was not ready. I would have at least liked to have a chance to rediscover my rhythm. But this is football, it’s like that.
“I have signed a six month contract, after these six months we will see what happens.
“But for now I have signed for six months, I am going to give my all, and then we will see.”
Considering Gunners chief Arteta is planning big changes at the Emirates Stadium this season, it is possible that Saliba could be a part of it, as the Spaniard looks to turn the club back into a more competitive force.
Adding a centre-back to the ranks could be seen as a top priority with David Luiz leaving the club, but it remains to be seen if Saliba could fill that void.
Source by Football London