Arsenal make formal offer for outstanding 21-year-old - he's been dubbed "the real deal"
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Arsenal have made a proposal to extend star centre-back William Saliba’s contract, according to David Ornstein.
The Gunners thrashed a hapless Nottingham Forest side 5-0 on Sunday to go two points clear at the top of the Premier League.
This term Mikel Arteta’s side have been relentless in attack, while their stubborn defence has kept eight clean sheets and only conceded 14 goals.
Much of Arsenal's early season success has been credited to the form of French centre-back Saliba, and according to transfer guru Ornstein, the Gunners are looking to award the 21-year-old with a new contract.
Ornstein wrote in the Athletic that both parties are now in formal negotiations and that Arsenal have presented an offer to the player.
Though Saliba and Arsenal are yet to have reached an agreement, the dialogue will allegedly continue between the two sides.
The Gunners’ technical director Edu is hoping to keep Saliba at the Emirates, with the defender having reportedly attracted interest from Europe’s elite, including Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
Saliba arrived at Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 for £27million but was subsequently sent out on three loan spells to Ligue 1.
While the moves sparked speculation as to whether Arsenal were committed to keeping the player in the long term, behind the scenes there was reportedly always a desire to tie Saliba down to a new deal.
Saliba’s current deal is due to run until 2023, though there is the option for the contract to be extended by a further 12 months.
The France international has received widespread praise since breaking into the Arsenal first team at the start of the season.
After making his Premier League and Arsenal debut in the Gunners’ opening-day victory over Crystal Palace, former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher was deeply impressed by Saliba’s performance.
Upon the 21-year-old being awarded a Player of the Match award, Carragher told Sky Sports “[Saliba] looked the real deal”