According to L’Equipe, Arsenal and William Saliba have agreed terms on a five year contract which could see the defender move to North London ‘very quickly’.
Having been granted permission to speak to the player by Saint-Etienne, what remains is for the two clubs to find an agreement over the transfer, which could include a compromise which sees a deal go through but the player to remain in France for one more season.
Essentially, we’d buy him and loan him back to the Ligue 1 outfit, thus seeing him develop and arrive at Arsenal a more mature player next season.
It wouldn’t do a lot for the centre of our defence right now, while others would ask what we could realistically expect from an 18 year old anyway.
ASSE have some previous with this kind of move, selling Kurt Zouma to Chelsea in January 2014 but keeping him until the end of that campaign.
As ever with these kinds of stories, there are things which might well be part of the negotiations but don’t end up in the final deal, so it remains to be seen exactly how we view the player.
We’d be surprised if we agreed to the loan stipulation, but let’s see what happens, and it does seem as if our interest is pretty concrete.