ARSENAL’s William Saliba is joining Nice on loan until the end of the season.
The Ligue 1 side will pay no fee for the 19-year-old defender, although they are believed to be taking over the star’s £37,000-a-week wages.
Saliba cost Arsenal £27million when he signed from St Etienne side in the summer of 2019.
He remained with the French side for the whole of last season before finally linking up with Arsenal last summer.
But Saliba was instantly frozen out of the picture and left out of both Mikel Arteta’s 25-man squad for domestic and European action.
He was desperate to leave, with both PSV in Holland and his old side believed to be keen.
It is reported that teen had told Arteta he is ready to take a short-term move to keep his Emirates dream alive.
However, last month it was claimed Saliba wanted to stay in the UK to help him acclimatise.
But now his exit is on the verge of being sealed as he heads back to France looking to re-galvanise his career, according to the Evening Standard.
The 6ft 4in youngster was expected to be a key player for Arteta during the 2020-21 campaign.
But his only appearances have come in the Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy.
Arteta revealed he plans to trim down his squad during the January transfer window.
He said: “Well, we have a large squad, we knew that and a lot of things we wanted to do in the summer, we couldn’t accomplish for different reasons.
“There are some players that are going to go on loan, they are going to leave, and that’s the priority at the moment.
“We cannot sustain the numbers that we have in terms of substitutions.
“We are looking to do that and then we will see if we have the right opportunities in the positions that we need some more help. We are working with the club to find that.”
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