According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal are trying to structure a deal for William Saliba that involves us parting with as little cash as possible this summer.
It makes sense when you consider we’re willing – mostly because the selling party are insisting on it – to let the 18-year-old stay on loan at Saint Etienne next season.
What’s more, not paying a big upfront fee now means we can use our slim budget on other players.
Last week, chairman Bernard Caizzo made clear that Saliba, who is valued at around £25 million, would be part of his squad this year, one way or another.
“He will stay this season,” he told But! Football Club [translated by Sport Witness].
“That’s an imperative condition if we are to find an agreement for his transfer. We’ve clearly defined the conditions.
“It’s also William’s wish. He wants to wear the green shirt this season, to play in the Europa League, and he wants to get better before leaving.”
James Olley reports that Arsenal are increasingly optimistic about getting a deal for Saliba over the line and that Celtic’s Kieran Tierney is still of interest, despite the Gunners not following up on their initial rejected bid.
Whether we also look to sign a more experienced centre-half to help with our immediate needs remains to be seen. Argentine Walter Kannemann, currently playing in Brazil, is a possible candidate.