Arsenal’s William Saliba decision enables Erik ten Hag to offload forgotten Man Utd man

William Saliba’s future could dictate where Eric Bailly ends up in the summer as Erik ten Hag will likely part ways with the Ivorian who has been frozen out of the Manchester United side

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Arsenal’s decision to keep a hold of William Saliba this summer could pave the way for Eric Bailly’s exit from Manchester United.

Saliba, who is excelling on loan at Marseille this season, is set to return to the Emirates in the summer but it remains to be seen if he will be an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s plans. The defender has yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gunners following his £27million move from St Etienne in the summer of 2019 which has prompted claims that he could be sold with the Ligue 1 club keen to make his loan move permanent.

Arteta insists that Saliba is a player for Arsenal’s long-term future and, if he remains in north London, Marseille are lining up alternatives for the upcoming window. Bailly is a player at the top of Jorge Sampaoli’s shortlist, according to journalist Fabrice Hawkins, via Get French Football News, after a failed attempt to sign the Ivorian on loan in January

Bailly was omitted from United’s starting line-up at Anfield as Liverpool claimed a dominant 4-0 win over their rivals with Phil Jones coming into the side as Ralf Rangnick deployed a back three.

Rangnick admitted Jones was picked at the expense of Bailly. He told MUTV: “Jones should be an important part of our backline, he played well when he played in that position against Wolves, I had to decide between him and Eric Bailly and that’s why I went with him.”

Bailly has been left out in the wilderness this season and it’s likely that he will be one of the 12 players expected to leave Old Trafford in the summer as Erik ten Hag leads a mass clearout.

And Arsenal’s willingness to keep Saliba could green-light Bailly’s exit as Marseille would be primed to pursue a deal for the Ivorian. Saliba has not ruled out the possibility of staying at Stade Velodrome next season, however.

He told French outlet Le Parisien : “There is always a chance. I do not hide that I am very happy in Marseille. I have developed, I have passed a milestone. If I make it into France’s squad it’s thanks to Marseille, because there is a lot of visibility.

William Saliba has excelled for Marseille


AFP via Getty Images)

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“They are a very big club with a lot of pressure, but when you’re good there are a lot of good things that happen to you. We will see in May or June depending on the discussions. Today, my future, I don’t know what it is.”

Arteta understands the decision for Arsenal to shell out that type of money on Saliba without utilising him appears that he is not a part of his plans, but the Spaniard insists that is not the case.

“I know that sometimes it’s difficult to explain or understand after the money that the club has spent trying to bring him in, to send him on loan,” the Arsenal boss said of Saliba.

“But a lot of things have happened to him he’s a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well. And giving him three or four games is not enough. He’s very happy to go there now. Hopefully, he can enjoy his football and be ready for us for next season.”

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