Olympique Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli has, on Thursday, revealed his hope that the club will ultimately go on to find a way of keeping hold of William Saliba beyond the summer.
Highly-regarded youngster Saliba, of course, is currently in the midst of a third loan stint away from the Emirates, and parent club Arsenal.
After failing to work his way into the first-team plans of Mikel Arteta ahead of the campaign getting underway, the 21-year-old secured a return to his home country with Olympique Marseille.
And to say that Saliba has since gone on to impress would be something of an understatement.
The former Saint-Etienne talent has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet of boss Sampaoli, en route to starts in all but one of Marseille’s Ligue 1 outings across the campaign to date.
In fact, so standout has Saliba looked, that his displays even culminated in a first pair of senior caps for France late in March.
Chatter, in turn, has long begun to spread amongst the Arsenal fanbase, regarding what exactly is likely to be in store for the club’s up-and-coming defender in the 2022/23 campaign.
One individual, though, who evidently remains keen to throw a spanner in the works of those hopeful of seeing Saliba back in north London next season is the aforementioned Jorge Sampaoli.
Speaking to the media earlier today, Marseille’s boss was drawn on the future of his on-loan stalwart beyond the summer.
And Sampaoli was not shy in admitting that he ‘hopes there is a possibility’ of a deal being struck between the respective boards at the Emirates and Stade Velodrome over fresh terms, be it another loan or a permanent deal:
OM coach Jorge Sampaoli on William Saliba deal with Arsenal: “I hope that there is a possibility for us to keep a player like him, who knows the team”. 🔵 #OM
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 12, 2022