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William Saliba appears destined to leave Arsenal on loan before the “English transfer window” closes on the 16th of October and two Premier League clubs are interested in taking him on a temporary basis.
The France Under-21 international returned to the Gunners earlier this summer following the end of his loan spell at Saint-Etienne where his season was interrupted by injury and the coronavirus pandemic.
Saliba impressed in a pre-season friendly win over MK Dons last month but he is still waiting to make his competitive debut.
Mikel Arteta had deemed both Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi as surplus to requirements but Arsenal have struggled to find buyers for two of their more senior defenders.
Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari, meanwhile, are still working their way back to full fitness and Arteta has told Rob Holding, who has started all six matches this season, that he wants him to stay.
New signing Gabriel Magalhaes has begun his Arsenal career impressively following his £23million summer move from Lille, but Saliba has been forced to wait patiently and with so many options at his disposal, Arteta would rather his young charge gain first team experience elsewhere.
According to Le 10 Sport, newly promoted Leeds and Fulham, both of whom have shipped goals this season, are in the running to sign a player who cost Arsenal £27million last summer.
Speaking about Saliba’s situation ahead of Sunday’s game against Sheffield United, Arteta said: ‘Well as I explained, the difficult year that the player had and the plan that we had for him, for the transition year, we could not achieve.
‘We are looking at different options to try to have the best possible development for the player and to protect our intentions with William for the future.
‘We want to both be aligned and make the best decision for now and for the future.’