Arsenal look set to complete a deal for one of the most exciting defensive prospects in Europe.
The Gunners have been slow to move in the transfer market this summer but things may be about to click into gear.
Early on Monday The Evening Standard reported that Arsenal were closing in on a deal for William Saliba of St Etienne. These claims have been confirmed by sources in France who claim that Arsenal have agreed to pay €30million and loan the player back to the French club next season.
— PB (@OliPriceBates) July 6, 2019
In the next few days, the deal should be confirmed and announced, the clubs are just finalising when exactly the fee will be paid. It is likely that Arsenal will pay much of the €30million fee next summer or in future years, in order to preserve their transfer budget. The London club were keen to have the player this season but St Etienne would only approve a deal if they could keep the 18-year-old at the club for the coming season – so this structure appears to be a compromise between the two parties.
Back in June we brought you the news that Arsenal had reportedly agreed terms with the player. Since then, the clubs seem to have been negotiating the structure of the deal, as well as the final amount payable.
Saliba is just 18 years old and only broke into the first team last season, but standing at 6ft 4’, he already posseses immense physical attributes that could help him settle in the Premier League. His stature combined with his calmness in possession has seen him draw comparisons to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk who has perhaps become the world’s most valuable defender.
Whilst the Gunners would love to have the player now, the appetite to secure this deal shows the players quality and potential and it is likely that it is better for the players development to stay in Ligue 1 for another season.
All being well the club will welcome a very talented defender next summer who is further along with his development and ready for first-team football.