Romano states that Saliba was ‘approached’ by a number of other clubs who were keen to bring him on board, but the Frenchman was happy to remain at the Emirates Stadium and turned down their advances.
Currently, it is unclear as to how long Saliba’s new contract will keep him in North London for – this is expected to be revealed upon the official announcement.
Had Arsenal not offered Saliba a new contract, his existing deal would have expired in June of 2024 – meaning he would have been danger of leaving the Gunners on a free transfer.
In Romano’s tweet, he wrote: “Arsenal will announce William Saliba’s new contract later today. Saliba signed yesterday, as revealed 24h ago; just time for official statement. Saliba was approached by several clubs but he only wanted to stay.”
How important was it for Arsenal to tie William Saliba down to a new contract?
Last season, alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, Saliba was one of Arsenal’s most important players. His monolithic presence in the box, coupled with his excellent position and technical ability, made him irreplaceable.
When Saliba was ruled out of action with a back injury towards the end of the 2022/23 Premier League season, the Gunners only kept two clean sheets in ten games – it played a major role in their late-campaign capitulation.
In comparison, in their 27 league games prior to Saliba’s injury (in which he played every game), Arsenal kept 11 clean sheets across this stretch.
William Saliba football career summary so far
Born in 2001, Saliba played for AS Bondy and FC Montfermeil as a youngster, before making the jump to Saint-Etienne in 2016. He signed his first senior contract in 2018 and made his first-team debut in that same year.
After making 16 appearances in Ligue 1, he was snapped up by Arsenal for a fee of £27 million. Despite this, he would not make an appearance for the Gunners until 2022. Instead, he was loaned out to Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille to continue his development.