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Marseille aim to close deal for 'elegant' Arsenal defender Saliba this week

Olympique Marseille are aiming to close a deal for Arsenal defender William Saliba this week.

The France U21 international is set to join OM on a season-long loan with the option to buy in June. OM wish for the fee to be in the €10m range.

Saliba spent last season on-loan at Nice and Nice-Matin's Vincent Menechini has spelt out to Le Phoceen why OM are keen.

He stated via Le 10 Sport: “He did not finish in an exceptional way, but he immediately imposed himself upon his arrival by stabilising the Nice defense.

"For a player barely twenty, he exudes an impressive maturity on the field, especially for a player landed in the middle of a complicated season. At first glance, we saw real international potential."

Indeed, Menechini says Saliba plays in a style well beyond his years. The 20 year-old has a contract with Arsenal to 2024, though is yet to make his first team debut.

He added: "He is elegant, easy to move, he never panics, he is strong and he has his head on his shoulders. He has all the qualities of a modern defender."

Marseille directors and Saliba's entourage are optimistic about closing an agreement.

For his part, Saliba would be eager to join Marseille for preseason as quickly as possible under coach Jorge Sampaoli.

During the second-half of last season, Saliba played 22 times on-loan with Nice, scoring once.

- updated July 13

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