ARSENAL are struggling to sort out a new contract with William Saliba and Paris Saint-Germain are monitoring developments.
The French international only has a year remaining on his current £40,000-a-week deal and the Gunners are desperate to secure his services on a long-term basis.
William Saliba is out of contract next year and is a long way from agreeing terms with Arsenal
Arsenal have been left stunned by Saliba’s wage demands
Mikel Arteta’s side are ready to offer Saliba, 22, £120k-a-week to be their defensive rock for seasons to come.
But they have been shocked by the demands being made by the centre-back’s representatives and are currently nowhere near reaching an agreement.
And Arsenal fear that Qatari-backed PSG will pay Saliba whatever it takes to lure him to the Parc des Princes.
Boss Arteta insists that Saliba is a crucial part of his long-term plans and has no intention of selling him this summer.
But the North London giants are not prepared to let him run down his contract and leave as a free agent next year.
So now Arsenal are working overtime to reach a compromise agreement and end all the uncertainty surrounding the key defender.
Saliba is understood to be one of the lowest paid players in the first-team at the Emirates.
Arsenal acknowledge they need to award him a substantial increase to recognise his importance to the team and plan to put him on an equal footing with the likes of Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
But that is miles away from the kind of money French Champions PSG are capable of paying him, particularly if they can get him for a cut-price fee with only a year of his contract to run.
Arsenal paid £27million to sign Saliba from Saint-Etienne in 2019 but he has only played one season for the club after spending his first three years on loan back with his old club and then at Nice and Marseille.
He was the mainstay of Arteta’s defence last season until a back injury ruled him out of the last 11 games of the season, which coincided with the team’s laste collapse in the title race.
The club’s medical team have ruled out the need for surgery and hope he will recover in time for the start of pre-season training in July.
He has finally settled into life in London after initially being reluctant to return from his loan spell at Marseille last year and has proved to be a huge favourite both in the dressing-room and with the supporters.
And having recently agreed lengthy new deals with Bukayo Saka and Ramsdale, Saliba’s contract is now top priority for the Emirates hierarchy.