Barcelona want Arsenal’s William Saliba as alternative to Chelsea-bound Jules Kounde, with Mikel Arteta coy on defender’s future

    Barcelona are reportedly targeting Arsenal defender William Saliba, as they’re set to miss out on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

    Kounde is set to sign for Chelsea with the Spanish club ready to accept the Blues’ improved £55million bid for the centre-back.

    Saliba looked to be a part of Arsenal’s plans this term having trained with the first team in pre-season

    Getty

    Saliba looked to be a part of Arsenal’s plans this term having trained with the first team in pre-season

    But Saliba could now be on the move, after Kounde’s imminent move to Chelsea

    getty

    But Saliba could now be on the move, after Kounde’s imminent move to Chelsea

    Thomas Tuchel’s side had an initial a £47m offer turned down for the French international, which handed some initiative back to Barca.

    But Kounde will now move from Spain to London, whilst Saliba could go in the opposite direction.

    Spanish journalist Gerard Romero revealed on his JijantesFC Twitch channel that Saliba is on Barca’s shortlist, who could be their next player to join the club during their busy transfer window.

    The Catalan club have been spending big this summer, having signed Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha (who, unlike Kounde, turned down Chelsea to join Barca), and Saliba could be next.

    His Arsenal future has been constantly up in the air over the last few years, with the 21-year-old spending the last three seasons out on loan.

    He has returned to training with the Gunners this summer, with many speculating that he would finally be given a shot in the first team.

    Saliba was superb for Marseille last season and even won Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year

    getty

    Saliba was superb for Marseille last season and even won Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year

    But, whilst Arteta said he was ‘delighted to have him’, he remained coy on what the future holds for the youngster.

    When asked if there’s any plans to extend Saliba’s current deal, Arteta revealed: “We always have a plan – whether we can execute it is a different story! Football is a really funny game.

    “But we are really happy to have him, you can see the way he’s adapted, the way he’s matured, and he’s playing well.

    “We are delighted to have him.”

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