Arsenal in Talks With Rennes Over William Saliba Loan

Oct 2, 2020, 9:45 AM GMT+1
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Saliba looks likely to go back out on loan | NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images
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Arsenal are in talks with Ligue 1 side Rennes over a loan move for William Saliba, who is yet to make a senior competitive appearance for the club since joining in the summer of 2019.

His only first team outing came during pre-season, where he played 45 minutes of a friendly clash at Milton Keynes Dons.

Bought in the Unai Emery era, the defender's former employers, Saint-Étienne, were staunch in both their valuation and terms of his sale, with the Gunners forking out £27m to secure his services but agreeing to loan him back to the club for the 2019/20 campaign.

Arriving back in north London this summer, many fans expected the Frenchman to waltz into the starting lineup and 'fix' all of the club's defensive issues. But Saliba has failed to make any of the three Premier League matchday squads so far this season.

As per Goal, and various other outlets, Rennes are in talks with Arsenal over taking Saliba back to Ligue 1 on other loan deal for the coming season. The Gunners made another defensive addition this summer with the arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes, a player who's impressed since making his own move from French football for a similar fee.

Rob Holding looked to be heading out on loan, but Mikel Arteta decided against any deal, and Arsenal have failed to shift most of their other defenders.

Talks between the clubs are ongoing, but there is a potential spanner in the works with Rennes closing in on the loan signing of Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani. What impact this could have on the deal is not yet known.

Speaking after the club's Carabao Cup fourth round victory over Liverpool, Arteta admitted it hasn't been easy for Saliba to adjust: "For many reasons, that wasn't the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal issues and also with Covid and the French league getting cancelled, he didn't have that year.

"He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year for him to have the player we want in our future."

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