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A Saint-Etienne chief insists no deal has been agreed for the sale of William Saliba amid reports Arsenal are on the verge of signing the centre-back, according to quotes via Le10Sport.
Unai Emery is desperate to strengthen his squad after a disappointing first season in England and tightening up our defence needs to be a priority as Arsenal’s problems at the back have been well document in recent years.
Saliba has been touted as a prime transfer target this summer and it looked like a deal was on the verge of completion with Goal one of several media outlets reporting earlier this week that we had agreed terms with Saint-Etienne.
Goal claimed the defender was expected to travel to London to finalise a move after a fee worth £26.5m [€30m] had been agreed between the two clubs with Arsenal also allowing Saliba to stay on loan in France next season.
However, it appears those reports were premature as Saint-Etienne chairman of the supervisory board, Bernard Caïazzo, has now offered an update on the situation and he claims no agreement is in place for the sale of the 18-year-old.
Caïazzo says the club are under no pressure to cash-in but admits Saliba is likely to join a top European club this summer and insists the player will remain with Saint-Etienne on loan next season.
When asked about a reported deal with Arsenal, Caïazzo’s quoted as saying by Le10Sport:
“Sale of Saliba scheduled? No. Our accounts are in balance. It is not vital to sell it. We know that there are solicitations and that his future probably goes through a departure to one of the top European clubs. But there is no urgency.
Yes (he will be at ASSE this season). It is an imperative condition if we come to an agreement for his transfer. Conditions have been clearly defined. It’s also William’s wish. He wants to wear the green jersey this season, to play the Europa League. And it is his interest to continue to harden before leaving. He will be there for the season, yes, “
So it looks like Arsenal have STILL not agreed a deal to sign Saliba but I think it’s only a matter of time before a transfer is wrapped-up and the youngster should prove to be an excellent long-term signing.