FOOTBALL: Arsenal star William Saliba was rumored to move to Barcelona in the summer before the club chose Jules Kounde

Arse­nal star William Sal­i­ba was on the look­out for a move by Barcelona over the summer.

The 21-year-old Sal­i­ba has estab­lished him­self in Arse­nal’s first team since join­ing him this season.

But Mikel Arte­ta’s reluc­tance to move to Arse­nal this sum­mer led to spec­u­la­tion that the French­man might leave.

As a result, rumors cir­cu­lat­ed that he might leave the Emi­rates for his for­mer clubs Mar­seille and Barcelona.

Accord­ing to Fab­rizio Romano, the lat­ter were eye­ing Sal­i­ba as an option to strength­en their defense.

But Chelsea’s acqui­si­tion of Jules Counde has cooled the Span­ish giant’s inter­est in Arse­nal’s player.

Both clubs are cur­rent­ly top of their respec­tive divisions.

Barça are lev­el on points with La Liga and Cham­pi­ons League win­ners Real Madrid, while Arse­nal beat Tot­ten­ham in the North Lon­don der­by and are one point behind Man­ches­ter City.

Most recent­ly, Sal­i­ba was said to be sign­ing a new con­tract at Arsenal.

When asked if the con­tract nego­ti­a­tions would be com­plet­ed, he said, “Yes, it is.

Sal­i­ba joined Arse­nal from Saint-Eti­enne for €31m in 2019.

After three loan trans­fers since his arrival, he was named Ligue 1’s best young play­er last season.

Cesc Fab­re­gas, co-own­er of Como in Serie B, also praised Sal­i­ba, say­ing he could be Arse­nal’s defend­er for the next 20 years.

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