Good News: Arsenal ‘finally reach agreement’ for defensive target ahead of transfer

Arsenal have reached an agreement with William Saliba over a transfer to the Emirates, but must now agree a fee with Saint-Etienne, according to reports in France.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for the 18-year-old defender in recent weeks, as have Manchester United and Manchester City. However, it looks like Unai Emery’s side have won the race for the Frenchman, with Foot Mercato reporting that they have agreed a five-year deal with the teenager.

That agreement has only been made with the player, though, and the signing is not confirmed as a deal is yet to be stuck with his club.

The French side are believed to want around £26m for the talented youngster, although Arsenal will be doing their best to drive that price down as they have a very limited transfer budget this summer, thought to be less than £50m.

The highly-rated teenager only extended his contract at Saint-Etienne in April after impressing for the first team over the last season. A club statement read: ‘This Tuesday, William Saliba has extended his two-season contract with his training club which he is now bound until 2023. ‘A pledge of confidence placed on the qualities of the young man of 18 years whose benefits reflect an irreproachable state of mind. ‘His extension of contract also proves the ambition of the club.’

Saint-Etienne have requested that the defender be loaned back to the club when a deal has been done, but the Gunners are keen to keep hold of Saliba and quickly promote him into the first team. Former Arsenal full-back Lauren said of the young talent: 
‘Yes, he looks a very good player,’ speaking to AmericanGambler.com. ‘Strong, tall, can come out of the back with the ball and an international for France. ‘He reads the game very well, which is important for a player at the back, you have to anticipate and he looks very good at just 18, so the future is bright!’

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