William Saliba is currently starring on a loan spell at Marseille from Arsenal and his future in North London is uncertain with Kylian Mbappe playing a role in his transfer plans
Arsenal risk losing William Saliba with Kylian Mbappe potentially playing a role in the future of the central defender.
Saliba has starred on loan at Marseille this campaign and has been sent out on temporary exits in successive seasons by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
That has led to questions over the Frenchman’s long-term future in North London and there is now fresh speculation that he will exit the club this summer.
Real Madrid have emerged as a candidate for the 20-year-old and Saliba’s family links to Mbappe – who has been heavily linked with a move to the Spanish capital – could help act as a catalyst for a deal.
The fresh speculation comes after Saliba admitted that he was dealt a harsh reality check after arriving at the Emirates, having believed he was ready for first-team action.
As outlined by Diario Sport, the loanee is now on Real Madrid’s transfer radar and they outline how his personal relationship with Mbappe could be important.
Wilfrid Mbappe – father of Mbappe – was Saliba’s coach when he was a youngster, with both future stars coming from Bondy in France.
Saliba is two years younger than Mbappe, but the two went to the same school – and the speculation is that the two childhood friends could link up at Real Madrid next season.
Saliba said of Mbappe’s father in French outlet Le Populaire: “He taught me everything and if I’m here it’s thanks to him.
“As his father was my coach, I used to go to Kylian’s house.”
Real Madrid are likely to be in the market for a new central defender after losing both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane this summer.
While Los Blancos completed a deal to sign David Alaba, they remain light in the position while attempts to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger as a free agent for next summer appear to have stalled.
Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule – who is out of contract at the German champions this summer – is also said to be on Madrid’s radar.
Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Saliba has featured in 27 matches for Jorge Sampaoli’s side this campaign and is tipped for a bright future at the top level.
Saliba recently admitted: “Before going to Arsenal, I said to myself I was going to play, I was sure, I was wondering who I would play alongside.
“I arrive, I play 0 matches. I played for the U23s. That gave me a good slap.
“Things go so fast in football. I don’t want to think about the future. I am going to give my all. Then there will be discussions in summer.”
With just over five months remaining of his current deal at PSG and with contract talks at a standstill, it appears to be increasingly likely that Mbappe will leave as a free agent this summer.
Saliba spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne before switching to Marseille this season.