Arsenal are increasingly concerned by negotiations with William Saliba over a new contract and have been ‘shocked’ by his demands, according to reports.
The France international only has one year remaining on his current £40,000-a-week deal and, unlike with other players nearing the ends of their contracts, the Gunners do not have the option for an additional year.
Arsenal have already wrapped up new contracts for the likes of Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale recently, but talks with Saliba are proving more troublesome.
Now The Sun are reporting that Saliba’s entourage have stunned Arsenal’s hierarchy with their salary demands and there is a growing fear that the centre-back may have to be sold this summer.
The north Londoners will not allow the 22-year-old to run down his contract and potentially leave on a free transfer, meaning this is their last opportunity to cash in if he does decide against renewing.
Parties are said to be a long way off agreeing terms despite months of talks, with Arsenal so far offering the defender a £120,000-a-week deal.
But that is ‘nowhere near’ what the Frenchman’s representatives are demanding – and, perhaps more crucially, what could be on offer at Paris Saint-Germain.
Arsenal fear the Qatari-backed French champions can offer Saliba an enormous salary that they cannot match, with PSG prepared to do whatever it takes to lure him to the Parc des Princes.
The Ligue 1 side are looking to bring a greater core of young French players to Paris over the coming windows and Saliba ticks every box.
Arsenal are reportedly ‘working overtime’ to resolve the situation with Saliba – who is now among the lowest-paid players in the first team – and do not want to go into the new season with uncertainty surrounding him.
PSG, meanwhile, would be hopeful of securing a cut-price fee for Saliba if he informs Arsenal that he will not sign an extension, and the Gunners may even struggle to make back the £27million they paid for the defender in 2019.
Saliba enjoyed a superb season back at the Emirates after spending last season on loan at Marseille, though he has been sidelined with a back injury since March.
Arsenal’s form deteriorated while the centre-back was injured – picking up just nine points from a possible 24 in the run-in – but the medical team are confident he will be back to full fitness in time for pre-season