Arsenal agree deal to sign St-Etienne's William Saliba for €30m


Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign 18-year-old centre-back William Saliba from St-Etienne.

It comes following weeks of speculation that saw north London rivals Tottenham attempt to hijack the move at one point.

However, per Fabrizio Romano and the Guardian, Saliba has chosen the Gunners and an announcement is expected in the comings days.

The young Frenchman has agreed a five-year contract with Arsenal and will cost them €30m (£27m) plus add-ons.

He will be loaned back to St-Etienne for the 2019/20 season and then join Arsenal in June 2020, when the summer transfer window reopens.

Arsenal were reportedly "always confident that Saliba would stand by his word and join them" and were told the move had gone through by St-Etienne on Thursday evening.

Now all that's left is for the teenager to complete a medical.

Saliba is one of Europe's most highly-rated young centre-backs and signing him is a massive coup for Arsenal, whose defence is in desperate need of reinforcements.

Unai Emery only has a budget of £45m to work with this summer but he recently claimed he's looking to sign "three or four players".

"We are working, the club is working with the possibility to sign some new players to help us," the Spaniard said.


"We are doing a lot of meetings with the club, with Edu, with Raul [Sanllehi] and also with Josh and Stan Kroenke on Monday in Denver. We have a clear idea to sign players to help us with quality and in the positions we need.

"We are talking with patience and with calm because we really want to sign players who can help us with a big performance.

"We think in the team we have very good players and we also need to take the best players in some positions."

Arsenal have already signed 18-year-old Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli and are chasing deals for, Wilfried Zaha, Everton Soares and Kieran Tierney.

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