Marseille ‘transfer ban’ set to see Saliba and Guendouzi return to Arsenal

William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi look set to return to Arsenal at the end of the season, with Marseille reportedly banned from buying players for the next two transfer windows.

According to L'Equipe, the French giants have been hit with a two-window transfer ban due to the ongoing investigation into Pape Gueye's move from Watford in 2020.

Gueye joined the Hornets in the summer of that year on a free transfer from Le Havre, but was sold to Marseille just 17 hours later.

While the midfielder has been suspended for four months, Marseille have reportedly been hit with a penalty of their own that will prevent them from signing players.

That will have a knock-on effect for Arsenal, who have out-of-favour players Saliba and Guendouzi currently on loan at the Stade Velodrome.

It is understood both men will remain with the Ligue 1 club until the end of the season when they will have to return to Arsenal.

Arsenal had no interesting in letting Saliba, 20, leave the club and Marseille did not have an option to buy clause inserted into his temporary deal.

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But Guendouzi, who last played for the Gunners against Brighton during Project Restart, did have an option to buy clause in his loan deal, with a fee reportedly set at around £8million.

A summer move now seems unlikely taking into account Marseille's transfer ban, but all hope is not lost for both club or player.

Marseille are expected to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the French side are hoping for a verdict in the next three to six months.

President Pablo Longoria is reportedly "confident" about the situation.

For his part, Guendouzi is loving life in Marseille.

"OM are the biggest French club. They have won the Champions League. They have a great history. They have the most fervent support in France, maybe even on the whole continent,” he said in a recent interview with Onze Mondial magazine.

"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."

The 22-year-old has made 25 appearances in all competitions for Marseille so far this season.

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