By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

24th Feb, 2023 | 6:00pm

Sources: Arsenal open talks over William Saliba deal

Arsenal have opened talks with centre-back William Saliba over a new contract, sources have told Football Insider.

The Gunners are confident of tying down Saliba to a new bumper deal following his impressive performances this season.

Mikel Arteta is keen to sign a number of first-team stars to long-term deals following their success in the Premier League.

Gabriel Martinelli extended his stay in North London by signing a new contract that runs until 2027 earlier this month and Bukayo Sako has agreed the terms of a new and improved deal with an announcement expected soon.

Their defensive teammate Saliba is now the club’s next priority.

Saliba, 21, signed for the Premier League leaders in a £27million deal from Saint-Ettiene in 2019.

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He worked his way up the French club’s youth system and made his breakthrough to the first team in 2018.

After just 19 senior appearances for the Ligue Un club in the 2018/19 season, Arsenal signed him and loaned him back to France the following season.

Further loan stints at Nice and Marseille followed before Arteta decided to give Saliba a chance in his Arsenal side.

His Gunners debut came on the opening day of the 2022/23 season against Crystal Palace, and Saliba has nailed down a starting spot in the Arsenal team ever since alongside fellow centre-back Gabriel.

Saliba has made 27 total appearances this season across all competitions and helped Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table by conceding just 23 goals this campaign.

Saliba has missed just 14 minutes of Premier League football all season for Arsenal after making an immediate impression on Arteta since his arrival in the summer.

In other news, Kieran Maguire issues ‘absolutely critical’ Arsenal claim after £62m USA reveal