WILLIAM SALIBA reportedly wants to seal a transfer to Arsenal but St Etienne prefer rivals Tottenham’s offer for the 18-year-old.
The highly-rated central defender is regarded as one of the best youngsters in Europe and his outstanding performances in Ligue 1 have put a host of clubs on alert.
It has been claimed that the Gunners have already agreed personal terms with Saliba, but the £25million fee has proved to be stumbling block.
This allowed North London rivals Spurs to try and hijack the deal by handing over a whopping £30m to secure the youngster’s coveted signature.
Saliba has his heart set on a switch to the Emirates stadium, but Etienne are thought to be favouring Mauricio Pochettino’s offer, according to Kike Marin.
Latest reports from France claim Arsenal have matched their rivals bid with the French club deciding whether to push the price up even more.
The main sticking point for Arsenal’s pursuit of Saliba is the structure of payments, with the Greens insisting the defender will stay on loan for the following campaign.
Saint-Etienne’s club president Roland Romeyer recently signalled his intentions for the youngster to remain in France, as he insisted the player also wants to stay.
He said: “He will stay at the club this season.
“It is an imperative condition should we come to an agreement for his transfer. It’s also William’s wish.”
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If a deal is finalised, it would meant the fee will not affect this summer’s modest £45m war chest as Arsenal chase other transfers.
Unai Emery remains keen on signing left-back Kieran Tierney, but run the risk of losing out on him to Napoli if they fail to match Celtic’s £25million valuation.
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is also a key target, with the Ivory Coast international recently refusing to rule out a move.
This post written by Joe Brophy originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.