WEST HAM have made Arsenal outcast William Saliba a transfer “priority”, reports suggest.
That is according to Jeunes Footeux, who report that the Hammers are so keen on Marseille loanee Saliba that they are willing to splash up to £25million in the summer transfer window.
The East Londoners are dealing with quite a limited squad and need reinforcement at the back.
Manager David Moyes didn’t get any significant new arrivals in January, which means there should be extra cash for some transfer business at the end of the season.
But West Ham won’t be without opposition as Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan also appear to be keeping tabs on the centre-back.
Real have even been in contact with the Gunners and talked about a potential deal involving the 20-year-old.
Marseille are also expected to be part of a potential bidding war as they want to sign the talented Frenchman on a permanent basis after some impressive performances at the Veldrome.
Saliba has amassed a total of 29 appearances across all competitions for the OM.
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s plans involving the defender will also be critical during the next transfer window.
This comes after Montpellier ace Stephy Mavididi expressed his shock that Saliba is not playing for Arsenal.
Mavididi said: “That guy’s a player. He’s hands down one of the best defenders in the league, hands down.
“I think he’ll walk back into the Arsenal team next season.
“When I played against him I thought ‘How is this guy not playing at Arsenal?’
“He’s strong, good on the ball, he reads the game well. He’s one of the best centre-backs I’ve faced.
“Everyone can talk about Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Jerome Boateng, but he’s up there.
“He’s the one that surprised me the most. I’m an Arsenal fan too and playing against Saliba I thought ‘we’ve got a very decent defender here!’”
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