Arsenal have made advances in their pursuit of Saint-Étienne defender William Saliba and talks between the two clubs are going well.
Unai Emery will be desperate to improve his defence, having conceded 51 goals in the Premier League last season – more than Everton and Newcastle.
According to 10sport,
Despite only signing a new contract a few weeks ago – lasting until 2023 – it has been suggested Saint-Étienne would be willing to sell the young talent for around £27m. A sale this high would allow the Ligue 1 side to reinvest in multiple positions, allowing them to boost the overall quality of their squad.
Saint-Étienne also want to take Saliba back on loan for the 2019/20 season, ensuring the loss would not be so significant in the short-term. Similarly to Kurt Zouma’s switch to Chelsea 2014, a loan back would allow the player time to develop in a less pressured environment and in familiar surroundings.
Manchester United have also been linked with Saliba, as they also look to strengthen their backline. Conceding 54 Premier League goals last season, the Red Devils arguably need reinforcements even more desperately than Arsenal.
Nevertheless, it is the Gunners who remain in pole position to sign the French wonderkid. With Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal ageing, and Shkodran Mustafi unconvincing, Arsenal should be inclined to spend a significant portion of their transfer budget on defensive reinforcements.