Arsenal defender William Saliba, currently on loan at Saint-Etienne, is already being linked with an exit.
The Gunners signed Saliba in the summer but sent him back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019/20 season so he has not played yet. Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly hatched a plan to prise Saliba away before his Arsenal debut.
According to Spanish media outlet Defensa Central, Real Madrid have identified Saliba as a potential target. The 18-year-old is on a three-man transfer wishlist as Zidane eyes long-term reinforcements at the back.
The next Varane?
Boubacar Kamara (Marseille) and Benoit Badiashille (Monaco) are the other two young defenders. Zidane wants to find the next Raphael Varane so he is scouring the Ligue 1 market for potential additions.
Saliba has been impressive for Saint-Etienne this season, operating anywhere in the back-three. The France U20 starlet looks like a real talent for the future but Real Madrid could test Arsenal’s resolve.
Arsenal have struggled defensively this season and will be hoping Saliba is the antidote. This is why these rumours are not welcomed in Arsenal circles. Here are some tweets about it.
According to The Express, Zinedine Zidane has made a personal plea to the Real Madrid board to sign William Saliba once he arrives at Arsenal. It would be the most Arsenal thing ever to finally sign a decent defender only to sell him before he makes a single appearance.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) November 3, 2019
No problem, 250M and we have a deal
— Don Raul’s son (@MwauraMarvin) November 3, 2019
If Zidane wants to have him in his team, he knows he’ll have to become Arsenal manager. That simple.
— Witt (@ManLikePepe) November 3, 2019
When Zidane leaves RM and takes over Arsenal he can coach Saliba
— Pooh Jinping (@JacksonWharf) November 3, 2019
Predicted this at the time, he’ll never play a game for @Arsenal
— MickeyMoneyChat (@Mickeymoneychat) November 3, 2019
If this club has any type of ambition, they will reject any type of offer Madrid will put on the table.
— Stefan Escu (@escustefan) November 3, 2019