William Saliba set for Arsenal exit amid Rennes talks


Rennes have made a late approach to Arsenal defender William Saliba on a loan deal, according to reports.

Saliba, who was signed in a £28m deal from Saint-Etienne, began training with the gunners in July but has not yet made his first-team debut for the club.

The defender was left out of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup game against Liverpool on Thursday as Mikel Arteta’s side beat the Premier League club on penalties.

According to Ouest-France, Rennes are now in discussions with Arsenal over a possible loan deal for Saliba which would see him move back to France for another season.

Saliba spent last campaign on loan at Saint-Etienne before moving to Arsenal.

Ouest-France claim Arsenal would be open to sending him out on loan, while he could gain the needed experience with Rennes as they have reached the Champions League and want to build on last season’s third-place finish.

However, Arteta explained after Arsenal’s victory over Liverpool that William Saliba needs a ‘year of transition’.

‘He had year last where Arsenal essentially loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him,’ said Arteta.

‘For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, he had some personal issues and obviously with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year, so he needs that year of transition.

‘He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to make the best possible year of transition for him to have the player we want for our future.’

Arsenal currently have eight centre-backs in their first-team squad but are looking to trim that before the summer transfer window closes on October 5.


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