WILLIAM SALIBA's agent reportedly met with Marseille's club president on Monday night.
The pair got together in London to discuss a permanent move for Saliba, 21, who has regularly been vocal about his love for the Ligue 1 side.
It comes despite Arsenal having spent pre-season integrating the centre-back into their first-team set up.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano insists the Gunners consider Saliba to be an important asset, despite the fact he is yet to play a competitive game for Mikel Arteta's side.
But Marseille remain determined to try and keep the youngster for good.
Saliba impressed on loan at Stade Velodrome last season, helping Les Olympiens finish second in Ligue 1.
READ MORE ON ARSENAL
Gunners spending ‘could pass £200m’, Paqueta interest CONFIRMED by Edu
Get 100% deposit bonus up to £400 & £40 FREE PLAY with Party Poker
The starlet came of age, producing brilliant performances and even forcing his way into Didier Deschamps' France squad.
Marseille boss Jorge Sampoli has since sensationally QUIT over the club's transfer policy, including the inability to land Saliba.
The Gunners paid Saint-Etienne £27million for the France Under-21 defender in 2019.
And according to reports, Marseille are set to launch a £26m bid meaning that the North London club could cut their losses.
Most read in Football
MIC FOR KAMARA
Kamara job confirmed as ex-Sky Sports star joins BBC podcast with Shephard
MIC FOR KAMARA
Juventus 'set to target Man Utd striker Martial if they fail in Morata bid'
Man Utd star 'DROPPED by Ten Hag after twice turning up late to team meetings'
'F*** you, that's not our mentality' – Edu says Arsenal won't settle for top four
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
Saliba is under contract until 2024, but may force his way back to France.
At the start of the summer, the star labelled Marseille as "my club" and declared it would be his "pleasure" to stay.
Quoted by GFFN after Marseille's 4-0 win against Strasbourg, Saliba said: "I want to come back and play the Champions’ League.
"I have never played in it and I want to discover it here.”
His comments could be seen as a dig at Arsenal who look set to be playing in the Europa League this coming term.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta however looks to be planning on using Saliba this season.
Speaking after the Gunners beat Chelsea 4-0 in pre-season, he said of Saliba: “I am really pleased to see the way he is playing, the way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he’s shown at 21-years-old, carry on doing it.
“We will keep developing him, he has a huge potential.
Read More on The Sun
I was bullied and called ‘gorilla’ for my hairy legs, says Vick Hope
Love Island’s Jacques set to become a millionaire as he signs with ex-star
“He is already a top player and we have to make him even better.”
When asked directly whether Saliba was ready for the Premier League, Arteta said: “He looked ready to me today.”
Source: Read Full Article