West Ham ‘prioritise’ summer signing of £27m Arsenal man

Jason Soutar
Reported West Ham target William Saliba during a matchWilliam Saliba during a match

Arsenal centre-half William Saliba is a top target for West Ham in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

The 20-year-old initially joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for £27million but has not made a single first-team appearance for the Premier League club.

He was loaned straight back to St-Etienne as part of the transfer and joined Nice for the second half of the 2020/21 season.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta decided to loan Saliba back to a Ligue 1 club for this campaign, joining Marseille in July.

The young defender has been very impressive for the Olympians, becoming a mainstay in Jorge Sampaoli’s starting XI.

He has played 90 minutes in 21 of Marseille’s 22 Ligue 1 fixtures this term, as well as every minute of their Europa League campaign, making 29 appearances in all competitions so far.

Saliba’s fine form has attracted interest from numerous European clubs, with Real Madrid, Inter and AC Milan reportedly keeping tabs on the player.

However, Jeunes Footeux (via Sport Witness) report that West Ham have made the Arsenal youngster a ‘priority’ this summer.

The Hammers are willing to put ‘up to €30m’ on the table for Saliba as they aim to bolster their defensive options.

Last month, Saliba was quizzed on his Arsenal future, insisting that he is “happy” at Marseille.

“The only thing that I can tell you is that I am happy at Marseille, that is positive. I like the city, the club, the supporters, the team… everything is going well,” he said.

“I do not know what will happen in six months. Last year, when I was at Nice at the same time, I did not know that I would be playing for Marseille.

“Things go so fast in football. I don’t want to think about the future. I am going to give my all. Then there will be discussions in the summer.”