According to RMC Sports’ Football Chief Editor Mohamed Bouhafsi, Arsenal have tabled an opening bid of £27 million for the signature of St Etienne centre-back William Saliba.
Arsenal a transmis une 1ère offre de 30M€ pour William Saliba. Les négociations ont lieu entre Arsenal et Saint Étienne. Arsenal est déjà d’accord avec le joueur. Comme révèlé par l’Equipe, Arsenal doit quand même se méfier de Tottenham qui est entré dans le dossier. #RMCsport
— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) June 25, 2019
The Gunners have already agreed personal terms with the 18-year-old who is keen on joining them, but Tottenham Hotspur have also entered the race, and Unai Emery’s side want to act fast.
Saliba is widely regarded in France as one of best teenagers in the game, and the youngster, who has been compared with Real Madrid’s Rafael Varane, was once on the radars of Manchester United and Manchester City.
The France youth international featured in 16 league games for St. Etienne last term, and is highly valued by the Ligue 1 club.
Saliba’s contract expires in 2023, but he is keen on an Arsenal switch despite their failure to qualify for the Champions League, and Emery believes the youngster can help improve a porous backline that leaked 51 league goals last term.
However, the French side want the teenage sensation loaned back to them for the whole of next season if a deal for his signature is to be sealed with the Gunners.
RMC: St Étienne completely adamant that William Saliba must be loaned back for the 2019/20 season – not budging on that.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 25, 2019
Arsenal have made a huge statement meeting their asking price with the opening bid, but the Emirates Stadium outfit want to bring him to England immediately, and it will be interesting to see what compromise both parties will reach going forward.