Arsenal are closing in on a deal for a star who’s poised to earn £200,000-a-week at the Emirates, and a decision Mikel Arteta was previously criticised for now looks like a masterstroke.
Eyebrows were raised when William Saliba was loaned back to France on three separate occasions despite costing £27m to sign back in 2019.
The centre-half was widely viewed as one of the most promising central defenders French football has produced in recent times. However, rather than fast-track the youngster into Arsenal’s first eleven, Arteta opted to show patience.
Saliba’s chance finally came at the beginning of this season and the 22-year-old quickly forged a rock solid partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes.
So good was their tandem, in fact, that Ben White was shifted over to right-back despite impressing in a central role the season prior.
Saliba is already among the Premier League’s leading centre-halves and it stands to reason he wouldn’t be the calibre of player he is today if warming the bench at Arsenal between 2019-22.
Instead, Saliba racked up nearly 100 first-team appearances during his loans back to France and Arteta’s decision to proceed with caution has clearly paid off.
Saliba’s importance to Arsenal was never more evident than when their title charge faltered while the Frenchman was sidelined with a back injury.
His current contract is due to expire in the summer of 2024 and if this year is anything to go by, Saliba is already Arsenal’s best defender.
Talks over a new and improved deal have long been underway. According to a fresh update from Fabrizio Romano, the end is in sight.
Saliba deal “advancing”; £200,000-a-week awaits
Indeed, the transfer guru tweeted Arsenal are “advancing” in talks to extend Saliba’s contract.
A new round of discussions have been scheduled and will take place “in the next hours”.
All parties – Arsenal, Saliba, and his representatives – are united and labelled “confident” an agreement will be ironed out.
On the subject of how much Saliba is in line to earn, the Daily Cannon recently brought news of the proposed new deal being worth around £200,000-a-week.
That will put him in the same ballpark as Bukayo Saka who penned fresh terms on May 23. However, per the report, Saka’s contract contains add-ons and bonuses that could see the winger net closer to £300,000-a-week if all goes well.
In a follow-up tweet, Romano claimed Saliba’s new deal is projected to run until the summer of 2027. The Athletic’s David Ornstein subsequently reported an agreement has been reached.
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