Arsenal ready to tie down William Saliba to new contract

William Saliba has impressed since returning to Arsenal
William Saliba has impressed since returning to Arsenal / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Arsenal are ready to hand a contract extension to William Saliba after he established himself as a key part of Mikel Arteta's plans, 90min understands.

The Gunners had expressed an interest in talking terms with Saliba earlier in the summer, when he reported back for pre-season training after a brilliant campaign on loan at Marseille, but the 21-year-old backed away from a new commitment until he could work out where he stood with Arteta.

Just 12 months ago Arteta decided to loan out Saliba, who is contracted to Arsenal until 2024, for a third successive season, but he quickly established himself as one of the best young defenders in Europe - winning the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award and becoming a full French international.

Saliba has impressed Arsenal's management during the summer and that was confirmed when he was named in Arteta's starting lineup for the opening day win over Crystal Palace. That marked his debut for the club and he was outstanding as Palace were comfortably dispatched 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

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90min understands that Arsenal's hierarchy have now reached out to Saliba's representatives and are anxious to tie him down to a long-term contract.

The likes of Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona were linked with moves earlier in the summer, but Arsenal are confident that Saliba will agree to a new deal now that he is very much part of Arteta's first-team plans at the Emirates Stadium.