Centre-back transfer hopes raised, but Arsenal have major hurdle to clear

Date published: Monday 17th June 2019 12:24 - Matthew Briggs

William Saliba TEAMtalk

Arsenal have agreed a deal with Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to a report in France.

Foot Mercato claim that the Gunners have agreed personal terms with the 18-year-old centre-back, but have yet to come to an agreement with the French club over the fee.

Unai Emery is understood to be working with a heavily restricted transfer budget with The Sun claiming the club have withdrawn their interest in Yannick Carrasco over the reported £30million fee.

The biggest hurdle will be the transfer fee and Saint-Etienne apparently want £26million for the prospect, so the fact that Arsenal have not yet agreed a transfer fee for the player does represent a huge problem.

Another French outlet L’Equipe claims that Saliba has agreed a five-year contract at The Emirates, with the Gunners agreeing to loan the player back to the Ligue 1 side before arriving in London next summer.

Manchester City and Manchester United are understood to be admirers of Saliba, along with Borussia Monchengladbach and numerous clubs from Serie A.

Saliba’s representative Djibril Niang  uploaded an Instagram story of himself inside a bar in Manchester earlier in the month to increase speculation the youngster, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in France was heading to England.

The 6ft 4in defender went on to make 19 appearances across all competitions last term and he can also play at right-back.


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