REPORTS in France at the beginning of the week claimed the Gunners had agreed a five-year deal with Saliba and Saint Étienne are willing to do a deal worth €30m but on the one condition that the teenager is loaned back to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the 2019/2020 campaign.
It remains to be seen if such a deal would interest Arsenal as their need for immediate defensive reinforcements is extremely high.
According to reports in France, Arsenal remain in pole position to sign the centre-back and are not put off by the French club’s €30m asking price.
Although, it is also being reported that the north London outfit are ready to try and get the defender for lower than his asking price.
It could be that the Ligue 1 outfit have no other option but to accept whatever bid Arsenal make following comments from a French journalist on their financial situation.
“Raising this option of purchase seems to me a necessary effort to make. A big priority even.”
RMC Sport claim Arsenal have put in an official €30m bid for Saliba, but they now face strong competition from none other than bitter rivals, Totenham Hotspur.
According to L’Equipe via GFFN, the centre-back would prefer a move to the Gunners after agreeing terms for a contract last week, but Spurs have reportedly entered the race to sign the defender.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are apparently in talks with the player’s representatives and confident that they can agree personal terms ahead of a move.
The topic of Saliba’s future was discussed during Ghislain Printant unveiling as the brand new Saint-Etienne manager and he dropped a huge hint amid talk of a move to north London.
“The sale of Saliba is not an absolute necessity,” he told reporters. “There is no urgency [to do so]. He is courted by clubs.
“From a sporting point of view we want to keep him next season and that’s his wish too. He still has room for development [here].)
“We will see. Our goal is for him to be with us again this season.”
Those comments very much keep in line with reports that Saint-Etienne are willing to do a deal for Saliba but only if he’s allowed to spend next season with them.
The French club are also close to completing the capture of midfielder Denis Bouanga, which may mean that they are expecting a cash injection.
This news will come as music to the ears of Arsenal fans, who are becoming frustrated with the lack of movement in the transfer market so far this summer.