William Saliba is set to leave Arsenal on loan before Monday’s transfer deadline with Rennes interested, according to reports.
Saliba, 19, signed for the Gunners last summer from Saint-Etienne but spent the 2019/20 season back on loan at the Ligue 1 side.
A number of injuries curtailed his campaign, as did the early end of the French football season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Saliba also missed out on playing in the Coupe de France final after a disagreement between Saint-Etienne and Arsenal over his training regime.
That saw the teenager begin training at Arsenal’s London Colney campus in July – but he was somewhat surprisingly omitted from the matchday squad for both opening two Premier League wins against Fulham and West Ham.
Instead, summer arrival Gabriel started the two games, despite only completing his move from Lille on September 1.
And now Goal claims that the Gunners are ‘willing to send William Saliba out on loan before Monday’s transfer deadline’.
Arteta believes ‘the young centre-back could benefit from a season playing regularly in his homeland’ and talks have ‘taken place over a loan move to Rennes’.
However, the report does add: ‘Rennes are due to complete the loan signing of centre-back Daniele Rugani from Juventus, however, which may have a knock-on effect on their potential move for Saliba.’
Saliba wasn’t involved as Arsenal beat Liverpool in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Thursday night and Arteta spoke about Saliba, he said: “He had year last where Arsenal essentially loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him.
“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.”
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