Leverkusen could ‘dig deep’ to sign £27m Arsenal youngster
Bayer Leverkusen are interested in taking Arsenal youngster William Saliba to the Bundesliga in the summer, according to reports.
The 20-year-old defender finally joined Arsenal last summer, a year after the Gunners paid £27m to sign him from Saint-Etienne.
Saliba was sent straight back to the Ligue Un club for the 2019/20 season but was at the centre of a controversy surrounding his return to north London.
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The Gunners defender has failed to establish himself in the first team under a “fed up” Arteta since, with David Ornstein explaining his struggles in October.
As a result, Arsenal sent him back to France on loan in January, this time with mid-table Nice, where he has made 20 Ligue appearances in the second half of the season.
And now his consistent performances in France have made Saliba a target for German side Bayer Leverkusen, according to Kicker.
The German publication claims Leverkusen are ‘dealing with him’ with the Bundesliga outfit looking ‘for two newcomers to the defense chain’.
With Sven Bender retiring now the season is over and Aleksandar Dragovic leaving to join Red Star Belgrade on a free transfer, the Eternal Bridesmaids are hoping to bring in defensive reinforcements.
However, Leverkusen will ‘have to dig deep into their pockets for Saliba’ with Arsenal looking to get back the £27m they paid Saint-Etienne for his services.
Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted at a busy summer transfer window at the Emirates Stadium as he looks to get the club back among the top sides in the Premier League.
“There are so many things to do,” Arteta replied when asked if he expected a big outlay of players coming and going in the summer.
“We already have a lot of players on loan, a lot of players with contracts still that we have to sort and it will depend what happens with a lot of those players.
“And what we are able to recruit to improve the team is going to determine where we are.
“We have been sitting down the whole year, we have been in constant communication, and things will change.
“Some things will stick to the plan that we already have and some other things will come out. But we sit down very, very regularly to talk about those things obviously.”
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