Patrick Vieira keen on signing Arsenal defender William Saliba for Nice

Patrick Vieira and Nice are targeting Arsenal defender William Saliba
Patrick Vieira and Nice are targeting Arsenal defender William Saliba (Getty)

Patrick Vieira is supporting Nice’s push to sign William Saliba from Arsenal, according to reports in France.

The 19-year-old joined the Gunners in a £27 million deal last year and was one of Ligue 1’s most highly-rated young defenders.

But following his move from Saint-Etienne in the summer, Saliba is still yet to make his first-team debut for Arsenal and has been regularly playing for the club’s Under-23s.

Mikel Arteta has admitted that is unhappy with Saliba’s situation and is open to allowing the defender to leave on loan in the January transfer window.

Saint-Etienne are keen to re-sign Saliba and had attempted to bring him back to the club in the summer window before Arsenal blocked the move.

But according to But! Football Club in France, Nice, who are currently managed by Arsenal legend Vieira, are also interesting in signing Saliba on loan.

William Saliba has not made an appearance for Arsenal's first team this season
William Saliba has not made an appearance for Arsenal’s first team this season (Getty)

Nice look set to be without Dante for the remainder of the season after the experienced Brazilian suffered a knee ligament injury last month.

And Nice, with the endorsement of Viera, are now looking at Saliba as a potential replacement for Dante.

However, Saliba’s preference is said to be in favour of a return to Saint-Etienne having joined the club at the age of 16.

Speaking last week, Saint-Etienne’s captain and former Arsenal defender, Mathieu Debuchy, said Saliba would be ‘welcome’ back in January.

‘William… we know his qualities. He was very impressive at Saint-Etienne,’ said Debuchy.

‘Unfortunately for him at Arsenal the start didn’t go the way he wanted it to, I think.

‘If William wants to come back this winter he will be welcome and he will have the advantage of knowing the team.’

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