Arsenal defender William Saliba will join Nice for the remainder of the season.
The £27million centre-back, who linked up with Arsenal in the summer after a loan spell at Saint Etienne, hasn't made his competitive debut for the Gunners yet.
The defender has also been excluded from Arsenal's Europa League squad, and Mikel Arteta has no plans to change this, which is why Saliba has decided to leave this month.
The centre-back was signed by Arsenal during Unai Emery's tenure, and there is the suggestion that Arteta doesn't feel the same way about the player as the man he replaced.
The loan deal is only a temporary one, which suggests Arsenal do believe the defender has a future in north London.
And a finer detail appears to confirm this completely.
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Most loan deals contain a clause that enables a club to sign a player on loan permanently either during or at the end of the season.
No such clause is included in Saliba's loan contract, meaning if Nice want to sign the defender at the end of the season, then they'll be in the mix with everyone else.
The fact no clause exists suggests Arteta does believe Saliba has a future at Arsenal.
Arteta has shown he can be brutal at times, ousting Mesut Ozil from his first team and parting company with Matteo Gunedouzi.
But it does seem the Saliba deal is different.
Arteta has previously spoken out on the centre-back, explaining that he didn't get his transition year last season due to Covid, and that he really needs it.
"For many reasons, that wasn't the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries, some personal injuries and also with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn't have that year," Arteta said.
"He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best transitional year for him to have the player we want in our future."
At Nice, Saliba will hopefully get the transition year he needs to improve, and return to Arsenal next summer the complete package.
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