Arsenal chief Edu ‘identifies new William Saliba back-up’

Guardiola gives verdict on Man City's win over Arsenal

Arsenal sporting director Edu is reportedly interested in Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi as the Gunners seek out improved cover for William Saliba. The Frenchman’s injury absence has hit Mikel Arteta where it hurts in recent weeks, with Manchester City now favourites to clinch the Premier League title.

Edu and co took measures to improve squad depth at the Emirates back in January. Jakub Kiwior, Jorginho and Leandro Trossard were recruited to bolster the defence, midfield and attack respectively, but only the latter has managed to stamp his authority on the starting XI.

Kiwior in particular has had minimal impact with the £20million signing being broken into Premier League life gently. With Saliba out injured, Arteta has selected Rob Holding instead, but the Englishman was dominated by Erling Haaland as Man City ran riot on Wednesday.

According to The Sun, Arsenal are willing to forego some of their more ambitious targets this summer if it means they can strengthen other areas of the pitch, with central defence edging higher up the priority list.

Don’t miss…
Sterling changing room revelation shows extent of grim Chelsea season[INTERVIEW]

Guehi is a player who ‘interests’ Arteta as the 22-year-old closes in on two full seasons of valuable top-flight experience. His services wouldn’t come cheap, however, with the youngster still bound by a long-term contract at Selhurst Park.

With three years left to run until it expires in 2026, the Gunners may have to pay a premium for the defender, who has played every single minute in all bar one Premier League match for the Eagles this campaign.

Read more…
Man Utd takeover LIVE as Sheikh Jassim stance on Ratcliffe bid emerges[BLOG]
Football’s ultimate free-kick taker even better than Messi and Ronaldo[FEATURE]
Newcastle ‘tracking’ their own Gnonto as bargain £4.5m deal eyed[GOSSIP]

Guehi joined Chelsea’s academy as a youngster and made two senior appearances for the club. He put his name on the map during loan spells at Swansea City, however, becoming an integral figure in the Championship and convincing Palace to part with £18m back in 2021.

So far, it has proven to be money well spent as Guehi earned an England call-up last year, banking three caps on the international stage. It is unclear whether he would be prepared to ditch his first-team role at Palace and potentially sit on the bench in north London, with Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes forging a formidable partnership this season.

Saliba suffered a back injury against Sporting Lisbon last month and he has not played competitively since. There are fears that the Frenchman may be out for the season after Arteta admitted that his recovery is taking longer than expected.

“Regarding William, we still have to wait a little bit more,” Arteta revealed last week. “He’s not progressing as quickly as we hoped and it is a bit delicate so we want to be certain that when we push him, he’s ready to absorb the load and the risk that we’ll take, and that’s not possible at the moment.”

Source: Read Full Article