KEY POINTS

  • Guendouzi and Saliba are set to return to Arsenal following a transfer ban on Marseille
  • Saliba still has a chance to make Arsenal’s first team for next season
  • Guendouzi may be dealt out anew by the Gunners

Two old faces are set to return to the Emirates Stadium following reports of a transfer ban hit on Marseille.

Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba are two prominent figures on loan for Olympique de Marseille, a club that was slapped with a two-year transfer ban in connection with Pape Gueye’s move from Watford in 2020 according to a report from L’Equipe.

This technicality snuffs all hopes of a potential permanent transfer for Guendouzi.

The loan deal for the 22-year-old French player included an £8 million ($10.9 million) option to buy, something that the Gunners were allegedly hoping to be exercised.

With the purchase now unlikely to happen, Guendouzi will have no other choice but to return to Arsenal.

The same holds for Saliba who was dealt out on loan. But unlike Guendouzi, there was no option to buy included in the agreement of the two sides.

A ray of hope remains with Marseille expected to appeal the ban. But with a decision likely to be known only in three to six months, keeping both Guendouzi and Saliba seems unlikely.

Regardless, club president Pablo Longoria is reportedly confident about the situation.

It would be an unfortunate end for the two footballers considering they were performing well at Stade Velodrome.

Guendouzi registered seven assists and two goals in 27 outings, while Saliba made 25 appearances for Marseille according to Sports Mole.

Saliba could still have a chance to stay on with Arsenal. The Gunners are reportedly planning to offer him a chance to crack the first team for next season, probably the reason why no option to buy was included in his loan deal.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Guendouzi. He has not in good terms with club manager Mikel Arteta and appeared to have found a new home with Marseille.

"I like playing in a full stadium and feeling the love of the supporters for the club. That is what I have found here and I have not enjoyed myself this much anywhere else since the start of my career," Guendouzi stated.

Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba Marseille's Brazilian midfielder Gerson (R) celebrates after scoring next to Marseille's French midfielder Amine Harit (L) and Marseille's French defender Matteo Guendouzi and Marseille's French defender William Saliba during the L1 football match between Olympique of Marseille (OM) and Stade Brestois 29 at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille Photo: Getty Images | Christophe SIMON / AFP