Friday, June 14, 2024

Saint-Etienne unhappy with ‘unacceptable’ Arsenal demands after Saliba agreement collapses

Yesterday Mikel Arteta made it clear that he felt William Saliba should stay at Saint-Etienne to play in the French Cup Final later this month.

The 19 year old was bought by the Gunners last summer, on the proviso that we loan him back there for the 2019-20 season – a deal which expired last night on June 30th.

At his press conference, the Arsenal boss said, “I think he needs to stay there. We have an agreement with Saint-Etienne, he’s been there all year, and he’s earned his right to play that final if the manager wants to do that.

“I think we have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that, and we can have him after that.”

However, this morning the Ligue 1 outfit have released a statement expressing their dismay at the ‘unacceptable sporting and financial conditions’ Arsenal were seeking to impose to make that happen.

On their website they say:

AS Saint-Etienne was pleased to learn yesterday Tuesday that Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach, was ready to leave William Saliba at the disposal of the club until the final of the Coupe de France, July 24 next.

William Saliba had been training for several days with Claude Puel’s group and was obviously very enthusiastic about the idea of ​​finishing his time in Green with such a match.

Sadly, ASSE, who simply wanted the extension of the initial loan until July 24, could not find an agreement this evening with Arsenal to allow the defender to properly prepare and play this match, the English club imposing absolutely unacceptable sports and financial conditions.

That’s a real shame for the player who has grown up at that club, and who would have played his final game in a cup final. It’s also not the ideal way for him to start his new career with us, feeling like he’s been denied such an important occasion.

Arteta has been in close contact with the player since he took over and hopefully he can smooth things over with him, but this is another problem he could have done without.

It might be especially galling for Saliba when it comes on the same day that Arsenal have reportedly agreed to let Henrikh Mkhitaryan cancel his contract and join Roma on a free transfer.

This is a player Roma offered £10m for in January, a bid we turned down, and while the focus was getting his £200,000 a week wages off the books, it’s still money we’ve written off to the benefit of Roma, Mkhitaryan and his agent more than us.

Let’s see what more comes out about this, but on face value it’s not a good reflection on how we’ve handled this.

UPDATE: Just to point out, the £2.5m clause was something Arsenal insisted on to incentivise his selection because we wanted him to play and develop during this season. And had the season played out normally, we’d have been happy to pay it.

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Anyone out there that wants to learn how to do business, just do the opposite of what Arsenal do.


High gooner

Im so fucking ashamed of our clubs behaviour lately. Yes i will always love this club, but this is such a shitty behaviour, for real.

Makes me miss Wenger even more.


Yeah how dare we play hardball over our asset.


Exactly. Its pretty simple, St Ettienne forfeit the extra 2.5million we have to pay to them if he plays and we let him go back for the final. Otherwise jog on.

Pete Plum

Basically it looks like cashing in on the covid-19 pandemic


It looks like St Etienne are forgetting that William Saliba is an Arsenal player *on loan* at St Etienne.

It also looks like them forgetting that the reason he’s even fit enough to play in this game is because Arsenal helped rehab him after his last injury?

We owe them nothing.


The fact that they’re unwilling to use their own player for a bonus game, a final no less, for free should put it on them that this all fell apart. Who wins here?

But now I don’t see st Etienne doing business with us in the future, is this worth 2.5 mil?

David C

This isn’t hardball. It’s self defeating. The kid would have got valuable experience but will now report with a chip on his shoulder. He will remember this when it comes time to resign a contract. It’s just petty, cheap, and dumb from Arsenal’s perspective.


The loan contract was not until the end of the season. Was until 30 June. They wanted to extend the current deal. We would be crazy to risk our asset an injury and have to pay 2.5 mil for that. Probably they didnt understand who had the upper hand on this. Their reaction is a proof to that.

SB Still

Turned down £ 10M and instead go on a free, wow!


Hey, that pallet of old past its date food you have sitting there, I’ll give you half of your original asking price for it.

No thanks, I’d rather you wait a bit longer and then have it for free. If you don’t mind.

Chimezie Okebugwu

Those in charge of transfer in Arsenal should be flogged… How often they get things wrong..

Dr. kNOw

Raul Sanllehi’s position is absolutely untenable.

Sack him, Sack Edu. Bring Mislintat back as Technical Director. He and Arteta would make beautiful music together.

I don’t know who will replace Raul, but the board must be revitalised with knowledgeable appointees and charged with oversight of footballing activities. This is critically important, as the Kroenkes are not focused custodians.


There was no need from st etienne to bash us publicly whatever be the reason. If anything arsenal was doing them a favor by extending the loan. Arsenal may have pushed for condition related to compensation if saliba gets injured or something during this period.. them bashing us publicly is in real bad taste and unacceptable. There was no need of a public statement and definitely not one like this. Unless Raul spat on them or something..

The optimist with little hope

I’m glad they did though. The dickheads upstairs need to be put into the public.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

Exactly. They had no rights to saliba after the final date, his time with st.etienne is finished. They’ve asked a huge favour from us, and we’ve had some demands. Not knowing the exact demands I can’t say for certain who is unreasonable, but that statement is really poor taste.


The only thing we know for sure is that the loan contract ended yesterday. Thus, Arsenal can not do anything unreasonable in my opinion, because St. Etienne simply have no legal right to demand anything at all.
Even if we refused to talk with them at all, it would not be unreasonable. However, we decided to talk to them and state our demands, it was not appreciated by them and that should be it. To make that thing public from their side is very bad and even sad behaviour in my opinion.


Ridiculous. Bloody ridiculous!


Are we the football equivalent of Richard Prior in Brewsters Millions?

A is for Arsenal

This reflects badly on St Etienne, not Arsenal, at face value. There’s almost a month until the game and they can keep things private for now, especially as the Arteta comments give them leverage if Arsenal really are being unreasonable. But I doubt that very much anyway. PS – until we know more detail, what on earth is the connection to the Mkhitaryan deal?


Come on mate, we all know who’s responsible for this latest in a never ending stream of fun factory fuck ups. It doesn’t take a Private Eye to solve this case.


Refusing to pay more money to have another club have use of our player? Yes, we’re well out of order.


This club refuses to pay anything – period. What’s more important to you? The few quid extra or this club making themselves look like utter thunder cunts in public for the billionth time? And probably pissing off the new boy into the bargain? Money talks, but not that fucking loudly – what happened to professionalism, The Arsenal Way and goodwill? Our board make me sick.


Time to get real. The French league was called off months ago. Therefore players are not match fit. The final occurs in a months time, close to the start of our close season training. And we were supposed to pay for the privilege of taking on the risk of an injured player?

Julian Pan

It will cost the club 2.5million quid for Saliba to play a single bonus match. So that’s quite a few.


I don’t get the Mkhitaryan story either.

Where is the proof that Roma bid 10m for him in January?

A little research comes up with a single source “Forza Roma”, an affiliate of Gazetto dello Sport, who themselves are a sports tabloid full of silly rumours. The January bid was never confirmed by Ornstein or Charles Watts or any reliable Arsenal-affiliated journalist.

Why is the alleged 10m January bid being reported here as if it’s a well-known fact?


I agree. This is why one should be careful with slanting the people in charge for this story. Letting Miki walk for free might make sense, if we expected to receive offers for him, but actually don’t have any right now and don’t see any on the horizon this summer. Then at least we get rid of his wages. The situation won’t be better in January, especially if we don’t plan to play him. Regarding that, I seem to remember that the player made some statements about how unhappy his time was at Arsenal, so it might be impossible to… Read more »


Yeah, Mkhi was quite critical of Emery (moreso than Arsenal).

And with different players’ contracts the club’s priorities are different right?

With Saliba it’s a case of looking after his injury situation and not taking risks, and with Mkhi it’s about getting his wages off the books over angling for a transfer fee – which is why both situations being conflated in this article doesn’t really make sense.


Would be interesting to know what the conditions were before we all start flying off the handle at what a shit club we support – maybe, our request was reasonable? Ie – injury and you owe us £xxxxx

Or should we just let him play and then we can all go ballistic when he gets a 12 month injury “why didn’t we do anything to protect our asset?”

I’m all up for a bit of Raul bashing, but let’s try and maintain a grain of balance lads.


I think the sticky point was the money. Probably, the Arsenal negotiators do not want to pay the initial amount agreed upon reaching 17 games. I can’t blame the club because they seem to be intent on cutting costs by all means.

dr Strange

Great! Make the future of our defence resent the club before even joining.

Great work Raul, Stan and Josh. You sure are cunts.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

I’d rather think he’d resent his old club for being too greedy to let him play the final. They’ve already earned a large amount on him, and now they’re using dirty tactics to either squeeze out more money, or refusing to compensate what arsenal want for risking what is likely their most valuable defender


Yet another cock up to add to the collection. The words piss up and brewery spring to mind. What is it with this fucking club? Can’t we anything without screwing it up? Pathetic.

Spanish Gooner

They would be due a few if he played one match, so essentially they were asking us to loan him for the final and pay £2.5m for the privilege. If they really wanted him they could have let him stay without receiving the fee. Otherwise, they’re just money grabbing and we were right to turn them down

Drogheda gunner

Yeah your right, why are people giving out about the powers that be, so they want a favor by letting him play in final plus they want another 2.5m for the pleasure. Cheeky fucks and were the bad guys?


Did Arsenal hope to get more then 10mil out of Mikhi’s transfer in the summer?
That is being quite optimistic even before Covid.


I’m really not happy with those running the club at the moment but for this particular case, St Etienne are just acting greedy, Arsenal allowing Saliba to extend and play in the final is good enough but it seems to me St Etienne are focused on money. They could have just tipped some journalist instead of publishing the whole matter on their official website.


No, they also shouldn’t have tipped a journalist. That is a lowlife move already. They have no right to demand anything regarding Saliba, so they should be happy that we even picked up the phone and talked to them about it. We stated our demand, they didn’t like it. That is the right of either party party. And that should be the end of it.


Before we bash Raul and co. we also have to understand St. Etienne are looking out for themselves only, while Raul and co. are looking at Arsenal and Saliba’s interests. ASSE have every right to feel hard done, but we don’t owe them any favours. If they can’t comply to the demands, they can stick it up their arse! Going public makes us look bad, but I don’t care. Ask yourselves why they never mentioned the conditions. Maybe they felt we owed them and wanted the extension at zero costs!


As far as I understood, we didn’t go public first, at least not with accusations. We just reacted to their official statement, which is something that we had to do, if we feel that their statement includes unfair or incorrect accusations. It seems Mikel went public first, but only with a statement that it would be cool for Saliba, if he could play the cup final. That is not only true, but also quite nice. The first statement with accusations or “dirty” details from the deal, as far as I understood it, came from them.   Regarding “extension at zero… Read more »

The optimist with little hope

Burning bridges with a player that hasn’t even joined us yet. How can we expect loyalty from him in the future when we act like this? If he gets any form of success, I can’t see Arteta sticking around for long if he has to deal with these idiots on a weekly basis. Bring back Arsene to run the club from the executive side… if only… We put so much energy into the wrong negotiations. Do we just embrace the fact that we are just a satire of a football club & learn to embrace our ineptitude as some form… Read more »


Have to Ask; what £2.5m clause?


Yeah, I’m reading it for the 4th time and have no idea what I’m missing. No mention of the clause, who pays it, why it’s there for or why we don’t want to pay it now or what it has to do with the extra game..


We would have to pay it, because by playing in the cup final, Saliba would reach an agreed number of games that according to the contract would trigger a higher transfer fee to be paid by us us. Background is, that we said last year, OK, if we buy Saliba, but loan him back to you, then you have to use him in a certain amount of games, otherwise the transfer fee is reduced for 2.5 million. Cause if you never use him, the loan-back thingy makes no sense and Saliba better stays with us. St. Etienne agreed to this… Read more »

Dublin Gooner

If he played one more game for them, Arsenal would have to pay them £2.5m. Clause expired 30th June. Pre-COVID their season would have been completed by then. They wanted to extend it to their cup final on 24th July. So, they wanted Arsenal to pay to have our player play in their cup final. And not just any loan player, one who grew up at that club and is bound to have an emotional attachment. “Yes, you can realise your boyhood dream, but it’ll cost your new club £2.5m and if you get injured, that’s tough luck.”

Steve Morpurgo

It seems so easy to throw accusations without knowing the whole story or any of the facts….


This Raul bashing by blogs is becoming ridiculous… Thankfully we have people at the club that put Arsenal first in this case.
Sad for the player but it’s the way it is.


It’s becoming, dare I say it, an epidemic


Im pretty sure we would have to for out additional funds for extending Ceballos loan, but we would have to fork out additional funds to loan back out Saliba.

Honestly on top of that Saliba was injured for the first 9 rounds of Ligue 1 this year. So why risk him not having a full pre season with us for 1 game in which in all seriousness, I can’t see St Ettiene doing a Wigan and beating PSG in a cup final.


Yet again, the people running this club are giving Gazidis a run for his money in the cuntish behaviour stakes. Embarrassing is an understatement

The Frog

Weird from Saint-Etienne, makes them look bad tbh. If it’s about the 2,5 million bonus, I would be shocked and outraged if Arsenal pays that. We will need all the money we can get to improve our squad and we are not a charity, even though we play like that sometimes.
The bonus was for starting 17 games, he started 16.. There is no ambiguity here as far as I can see, if they want to loan him they need to pay us, not the other way round


They should at least negotiate a compromise.
Under normal circumstances, we would have had to likely pay the 2.5 mil additional fees. No covid, and Saliba would have triggered the clause (provided he stays fit)
Now that the clause has expired, there is no legal right to do but as a show of good faith why don’t we just pay for Saliba’s wages for July while letting him play that one extra game. It’s essentially Saint-Etienne fault for not negotiating for a compromise way earlier unless they’ve been trying to and Raul hasn’t been picking up his phone.


Any quid pro quo with Roma on the Mikhi deal we don’t know about? Kluivert in the summer coming the other way? Or would that be too sensible? As far as I know the 2.5mil was for matches played (50% played) and with the shortened season he technically met that.


If Saliba didn’t play 17 games before June 30th, then the 2.5million is of no consequence. The loan period has finished, so a new loan contract is needed.   Arsenal, while I am sure have handled it dubiously, are within their right to write a new contract excluding the 2.5million fee if he plays. The fact that we are willing to make a deal to let him play it (And with Arteta publicly stating he should be allowed to go and play it), I don’t think we are in the wrong.   We risk injury and pay 2.5million. St Etienne… Read more »

Once a gunner

This is why I liked Wenger he will make sure the deal was materialized.


As always, Arsenal will lose at the end since AW regime..
£10m into our pocket, now loose for nothing..

Good business our Arsenal management.
Keep it up..:
No worries as
We are the richest club in the world..??


To protect our working partnership with St etienne and to protect our relationship with saliba we should waive the fee and let him play as long as they’re is some sort off agreement to protect the player from injury such as only playing one half. It is petty and could bite us in the arse in the future.


Are we in business or in philanthropy? If ASSE cannot sacrifice £2.5m for their long standing player and give him the honour to play the final in the hope (however slim) of winning the gold, what attachment do we have to the player (who is still a stranger) to risk injury to him after paying the money?

If it’s business, the contract ended on 30h June, 2020, and Saliba should come home, or beg ASSE to negotiate his participation in this match if it’s important to him.


If ASSE so much treasured the £2.5m, why didn’t they rush him through the 17-game mark before 30th June?

Immanuel jo

How dare they? This was the same player they refused to sell to us because of tottenham’s offer,they made a good business decision,now we are making ours. As far i m concerned arsenal did the right thing,he is our player after all,we owe them nothing. Let them pay Up or shut the hell up.

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