Mikel Arteta’s cryptic answer over plans for William Saliba’s Arsenal return

Mikel Arteta has kept his cards close to his chest when quizzed on his plans for William Saliba next season as Arsenal prepare for the departure of David Luiz.

It was announced that the Brazilian's contract would not be renewed which appears to have opened the door for the young Frenchman.

Saliba was signed under Unai Emery but arrived from Saint Etienne 12 months later.

Arteta though didn't take a shine to the centre-half, despite him arriving with a huge reputation, and eventually shipped him out on loan to Nice.

The Spaniard claimed all will be revealed in the coming months with a decision on Saliba's future on the agenda.

He said: "You will see in the summer, the possible replacement. William is our player for sure and that's the decision that we're going to be taking soon.

"We will make a decision based on the agreement of the role that each player is going to have in the squad."

Saliba has been a regular at Nice since joining the Ligue 1 club in January.

He won their Player of the Month award within weeks of arriving at the club and has previously claimed that Arteta didn't get him enough time to prove himself.

“He judged me on two-and-a-half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more," he told RMC Sport.

"But he told me I wasn’t ready. I was waiting for him to give me a chance, but football is like that."

Arteta bought in Gabriel last summer in an effort to bolster the heart of his defence.

Arsenal also have the likes of Rob Holding and Pablo Mari to call upon but are looking for considerably improve on this season's showing and an Emirates overhaul is expected this summer.

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