Man City could reportedly emerge as winners in a transfer scrap with Arsenal over the signing of talented Saint-Etienne youngster William Saliba.
The 18-year-old has made a big impression early on in his career for the French outfit, making 19 appearances this past season in his breakout campaign.
Further, he’s capped at U16 to U19 level for France, and it’s widely suggested that he has a bright future ahead of him for club and country, provided that he continues to develop and improve with maturity and experience.
According to The Sun though, Arsenal could face the prospect of missing out on him to Man City, as it’s claimed that the Gunners aren’t willing to splash out £25m on him and then send him back to Saint-Etienne on loan for a season.
In many ways, it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want to do that, as if they are to spend such a significant fee on a player, they will rightly want him at the club playing an immediate role while working with the coaching staff and his teammates to settle in and improve.
Further, having conceded 51 goals in 38 Premier League games to hold the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the table last season, it’s fair to say that Arsenal need immediate reinforcements in that department to shore things up at the back.
Nevertheless, if Arsenal aren’t willing to change their stance, it’s noted in the report that Man City won’t have such problems in allowing Saliba to spend another year in France.
Although Pep Guardiola will lose influential captain Vincent Kompany this summer, he still has the likes of John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte at his disposal in that department, and so he may not be in such a rush to bring in Saliba.
In turn, it remains to be seen how the situation plays out, but it’s a concern for Arsenal it seems.