Sunday, July 3, 2022

Marseille not giving up on Saliba as transfer ban is temporarily postponed

In January, Marseille were handed a one-year transfer ban by FIFA for their involvement in a transfer dispute with Watford after Senegal international Pape Gueye reneged on a contract agreement with the Premier League club in favour of a four-year deal at the Stade Velodrome.

Watford complained about the deal. FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber ruled in their favour, forced the guilty parties to pay compensation and told Marseille that they can’t register “any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the next two entire and consecutive registration periods.”

Since then, Marseille have appealed to The Court of Arbitration for Sport and with a date for their hearing now set for October, it means they will be allowed to sign players during this summer’s window.

With that in mind, it seems they haven’t yet given up on signing William Saliba despite Mikel Arteta making it plainly clear that the France international is wanted back in London.

Speaking yesterday, Marseille president Pablo Longoria said they have been so impressed by Saliba’s efforts – the 21-year-old featured 51 times and was crowned Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Season – that they will most certainly ask the Gunners if there’s any chance of retaining his services in some capacity.

“We had a lot of conversations about analysing William Saliba’s season, especially in the last few days,” Longoria told RMC Sport.

“He is coming off an extraordinary season, with one of the highest number of matches played in Europe. He also joined the France team, which is incredible at his age.

“We discussed a lot internally about what we can do, to find out what the possibilities are. We respect his club, we have to thank Arsenal. Arsenal are a friendly club that helped us a lot during the last transfer window. We have very good relations.

“We have to talk to each other, see if there is the possibility of reaching an agreement between the clubs, there is the player’s will, the club’s will… But above all, we must respect Arsenal.

“There are different strategies, different ways of entering into transactions. It is especially necessary to come to an agreement if there are possibilities of being able to move forward.”

While there’s uncertainty around the Saliba situation, Marseille and Arsenal have clarity with regard to the future of Matteo Guendouzi. The Ligue 1 club had an obligation to buy the 23-year-old off the back of a clause in his loan contract and Longoria confirmed in March that a three-year deal had been agreed.

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Very important we push back on Marseille and anyone else looking to nab our players for nothing. I can see why they’re trying given how many players we’ve let go but it’s time to start getting Iwobi/Walcott levels of cash for players again. I’d rather keep Saliba but no way he should be going for less than 40 million pounds, something i’m sure Marseille do not have. Good of Mikel to shut them down and try to stop them unsettling the player.

Charles MMM

Actually, if they want him and he really wants to go there, then it should be more like £50 million and above. He’s already proven himself to them and so doesn’t need any introduction. Left to me, I’ll rather have him with us for the season (after signing a new deal) or he can still sign a new deal and join them on a loan for the new season (that way it be a win-win for all parties).

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

At least 50 mil if that’s what White was worth. I’d say Saliba is potentially the better player, and a French international


Great point.

He’s worth closer to what, 75M?


Keep your hands off our willy


Marseille do not have that many pounds.

Mayor McCheese

Then they can fuck off, can’t they?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

“Mikel to shut them down and to stop them unsettling the player”, if you ask Saliba who has unsettled him the most the last three years, what would be the answer?
Arteta said if Saliba had stayed, he wouldn’t have played because of Ben White and Gabriel. There is a clear hierarchy in Arteta’s mind that is even more unsettling for Saliba regarding where to be next season.

John C

If it’s not obviously clear to Saliba why an untested teenager wouldn’t be starting over more experienced players he’s evidently thick and we probably should sell him.

However if after a period of reflection he’s had the intelligence to recognise that more experienced heads like Arteta and Edu have the necessary wisdom to develop his career than great.

Saliba should be telling himself, Ligue 1, completed it mate, nothing left to learn, time to move on to the next level.


For talented players, age does not count.

John C

In central defence it does

President Eckener

Baresi literally was a starter at Milan from 17 or 18.

It’s about the individual player, not an age number.

John C

So would you agree Saliba has out grown the french league?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Saliba under Mikel isn’t going to work. Arteta is being forced by his development otherwise he doesn’t like him or didn’t connect with him. Saliba got his first selection to the national team and when asked Arteta said he didn’t have time to call and congratulate him. Your young player got a call-up to the best national team in the world and it isn’t a special event for you? Compare to Klopp, he can’t give enough game time to Origi but he misses no opportunities to call him a legend of the club..


Agree he’ll never connect with Arteta, plus there is a World Cup in a few months. Saliba will want to be in the French squad + he wants to play in the Champions league. All Arsenal can offer is wait until White or Gabriel gets injured etc or Europa league. No contest.

Tanned arse

I really hope I’m wrong but I think the not contacting saliba when he got that French call up speaks volumes. If you liked the guy (and this is essentially still a kid) and you wanted to keep him onside, you’d at least congratulate him on something like that. There’s simply no reason not too. Its a basic gesture and takes hardly any effort. The day after the season finishes he finally gives a stance on saliba but I think it was put out there for two purposes. Firstly to raise the value of a player we appear to want… Read more »


To be clear, the players that left for nothing were players that virtually nobody wanted and definitely not on the wages Arsenal we’re paying. Mateo was a bit of an exception, but only due to the potential. He has fallen out of favor with his attitude 2 manager in a row. Saliba is a different class. All clubs would desire such a talent and certainly he won’t be short of suitors should Arsenal be interested in cashing in to reinvest. But Arsenal likely want him as much as any other club and will intend to keep him unless he adores… Read more »


There was this one guy who left for nothing whom Barcelona had wanted for years but couldn’t get.
And the Arteta agitated for his move.


£40m….? 😂

Dude, I would double that if even Brentford came in for him.

And £100m + for any of the open cheque book oil clubs.


As I said before £50mill if he is pushing us to leave.


And make them buy Pepe from us too 😂


FFS some of you on here really are the softest touches going, when it comes to transfer figures.

We demand skywards of £80m at least. £100m + if PSG or City or Newcastle come calling.

This kid is a worldie in the making and we need to keep him. Simple as that.

Arsene's Smirk

“Arsenal are a friendly club”
That’s a burn!
PSG will buy him for at least a 100 mil right?


That’s probably their end game here.. get a cut price deal citing player’s interest and his contract situation… Flip him to a big club within 1-2 tranfer windows. A hefty sell on clause should see their desire to sign him evaporate.

Crash Fistfight

Oh, I didn’t think of it in those cynical terms. I thought he was actually being nice.

I hope I’m right as it would be nice to have good relations with another club. Look at the situation with Fiorentina, for example. I can’t imagine us wanting to do much business with them in future.


If Saliba comes back to Arsenal he needs to get his head down and prove himself. If he doesn’t want to be herehe can be sold for good money, either way this needs to be resolved quickly and he needs to shut up. This whole saga is boring now, I don’t really care what happens to Saliba at this point, if he stays or goes the club will win, that’s what counts.


Umm, I mean Saliba is not the one in the wrong here. 2020/21 season the club messed up with not finding a loan for him. Then Arteta decided to not play him at all while Holding played 30 games that season as we came in 8th. You are telling me he could not even get a few games? Its ok to admit when a manager or the club made a mistake sometimes. Makes you no less a fan. All he has said is he is willing to comeback and show his quality. Hope it pans out. Having three dynamic CBs… Read more »


If we are a serious club, players like Saliba are exactly what we need to push the club forward. I’d love to se him partner Gabriel for a fearsome backline.

Est Ldn

Completely agree chap.

He seems to have an attitude/professionalism issue based on the interviews and comments he has given; as if he expected to walk into Arsenal as 1st choice without proving himself to the coaching staff or the other players in his position.

I’d rather keep him as he has a lot of potential, and I am not 100% sold on Gabriel just yet. But if he wants to continuing moaning to the media every week then we should just get rid this window.


I disagree. He admitted he came back from summer break out of shape and not ready to compete for a spot at Arsenal and getting told he wasn’t ready was an eye opener. Takes a man who is ready to learn from their mistakes to admit that. Think this kid will grow considerably with that attitude.


How are you not sold on Gabriel?! He’s the best centre half we’ve had in years.

Est Ldn

I like him; but he had a tendency to start games quite slowly, misplaced passes, poor touches etc. If we made 15 mins without conceding he’d relax into the game and become a rock.

Don’t dislike the lad, just an observation.


“It is especially necessary to come to an agreement if there are possibilities of being able to move forward.”

That is some incredible meaningless corporate speak right there. 10/10.


Marseille clearly don’t care about the player and just want to take advantage of the situation to get him cheap from us and then sell at 3x money.

And his interviews are twisted by Journalists as well. To me he’s open to all idea. Still if he wants out, 60m minimum please.


If he really wants to go, $70m and you can have him.


more like 75.
but, we gonna find a replacement as good as he is for 70/75 M?


Guns Up

Maybe, maybe not. Too early to tell how good he will be. But we can definitely find someone very good for 50m and spend the difference buying Tielemans, in this hypothetical.

Just 2 years left on his current contract. Either get him to sign a new long-term deal NOW or sell him for 50 million pounds in THIS window. We fail to do that and in 12 months (or even less), the player has the club over a barrel.


Spot on


I love arsenal

Really pleased with the direction we are headed.


I don’t think we should sell him but much depends on what the player himself is thinking and the contract situation. The fact remains: the kid seems to have the potential to be a generational CB talent, and those don’t come around often. As good as they’ve been and as much as I like them, I’m not sure that Gabriel and White have that potential. Sometimes the resources the club holds in the form of the actual player are more important that the transfer fee (and football finance is so arcane and shonky I don’t really understand why football fans… Read more »

Charles Charlie Charles

Marseille can fuck off.

La Défense

Only 21, played 51 games last season, and is already playing for the French National team. Has to be the highest rated young CB in Europe.

Anything less than €100 million minimum would be shocking.


I hope Saliba is getting some good advice about career development. At his age, 51 games a year is probably unsustainable. Marseille is wearing him out, risking injuries. He would get plenty of meaningful game time for Arsenal. Rob seems happy to hold a spot on the bench, meaning Saliba will come in for whoever of White or Gabriel is being rested or out injured, in cup games, and as part of a three at the back (which is a tasty prospect, and a nice option when Partey is unable to play). He would lengthen his career and make more… Read more »


£50m or just go away. Dont need another saga this summer.


What we do will depend a lot on Saliba’a contract extension. If he doesn’t agree to it, most probably we will just cash in. And I’m pretty sure Arsenal will put a high value on him. There will be lot of suitors other than Marseille.


marseille are as broke as every other french club that isn’t psg, so unless there’s a release clause in saliba’s existing arsenal contract, there’s no reason to negotiate

A Different George

My best guess is Saliba will come back to Arsenal and see what happens next season. If he likes his experience, and does well, he will sign an extension on much higher wages. If either he does not play enough, or does not get along well, he will have a year left and will either be sold then or leave on a free a year later. Given his age, this seems to me the most logical path for his career.

No way we should be leaving this in the player’s hands. Either INSIST that he signs a new long-term deal now, or sell him IN THIS WINDOW for a premium price, 50-60 mill minimum. Dither for a year and the player is holding all the aces at the end of that period.

A Different George

That’s not how contracts work. You can’t legally sell a player who does not want to go–he has a right to insist on staying at Arsenal, and getting paid, for the duration of the contract. (That’s why a player has to agree to “personal terms” with the buying club.) Obviously, that does not mean the club is required to play him (or even to let him train with the first team), and that’s a tactic a club can use against a player who resists being sold. But if he wants, a player can stay, and be paid, and then leave… Read more »


Are we saying: “Hands off our Willy!”?


We should be.

BTW, you win the comments section. Nice one!!

Mark Hazelwood

£99million and 6 chocolate croissants or he stays at arsenal.

Charles Charlie Charles

Which means if Frank Lampard came in for him, he’d want to shell out £6 and have 99 million chocolate croissants.


There is absolutely no way Marseille can afford Saliba. He was named best young player, in a league that includes Aurélien Tchouaméni.

I think that we should only sell Saliba if both those conditions are met :
– The relationship with him is damaged and he doesn’t want to come back.
– We have an offer for more than 50M€.

We potentially have a world class player in our hands, you don’t sell those players if you don’t have too.

But with White and Gabriel, we HAVE to find a way to give him first team reps.


Unless we really believe that Saliba want to sign a new contract now is the perfect time to cash in on one of Europes most hyped young defenders at the moment.

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