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Real Madrid are considering a move for William Saliba
Real Madrid are considering a move for William Saliba (NurPhoto via Getty)

Real Madrid are preparing a move for Arsenal centre-back William Saliba, according to reports in Spain.

The 20-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Gunners following his £27 million move from Saint-Etienne in July 2019.

After failing to convince Mikel Arteta during pre-season last summer, Saliba was allowed to return to Ligue 1 again for a loan spell with Marseille.

Saliba has impressed in France’s top flight and according to Sport, the defender is now on Real Madrid’s shortlist for the summer.

The report claims that Madrid are looking to bolster their defensive options and Saliba’s case is ‘special’ as he has a direct link with their top target Kylian Mbappe as they both grew up in Bondy, a suburb of Paris, while Mbappe’s father coached Saliba at youth level.

Madrid have also been keeping track of Saliba’s progress since his time at Saint-Etienne.

William Saliba impressed up against Kylian Mbappe this season
William Saliba impressed up against Kylian Mbappe this season (Getty)

Meanwhile, Saliba has described Arteta’s decision to drop him from the first-team squad as ‘a good slap’.

‘There are things like that in football. There are difficult times. It’s not all rosy,’ Saliba said in an interview with RMC Sport this week.

‘Even if it didn’t go well on a personal level, I take it as an experience. It gave me a stronger mentality.

‘Before going to Arsenal, I said to myself that I was going to play, I was convinced I would, I wondered who I was going to play with. I then arrived, I didn’t play any games, I played with the Under-23s. It gave me a good slap.

‘Today, I am more focused. We have to do more each time. For the coach [Arteta], I wasn’t ready yet.’

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