ARSENAL are reportedly in shock talks to send William Saliba back out on loan amid interest from Rennes.
The Frenchman was tipped to take the Emirates by storm following his £28million arrival from St Etienne but is still waiting to make his Gunners debut.
French club Rennes are interested in Arsenal defender William Saliba[/caption]
The 19-year-old, who has been compared to Virgil van Dijk, had been expected to form a new-look centre-back partnership alongside fellow Ligue 1 alumnus Gabriel Magalhaes.
But while the Brazilian has made a seamless transition to life in England, Saliba has been left out in the cold.
Further doubts about his future arose when the defender was left out of Arsenal’s 18-man squad for the Carabao Cup clash against Liverpool.
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According to Ouest-France, Rennes are now in confirmed talks to bring Saliba straight back to Ligue 1.
Julien Stephan’s side desperately need to fill the void left by Joris Gnagnon and Jeremy Morel’s exit and were thought to be chasing Juventus outcast Daniele Rugani.
Yet a chance to return to his homeland and play Champions League football could prove too enticing for Saliba following his difficult start at Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta had hinted the France U20 international needed another year to settle in after leaving him out of the penalty shoot-out win at Anfield.
The Spaniard said: “He had year last where Arsenal essentially loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him.
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“For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed.
“He had a lot of injuries, he had some personal issues and obviously with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year, so he needs that year of transition.
“He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to make the best possible year of transition for him to have the player we want for our future.”