Arsenal are reportedly pressing ahead with a swoop for Saint-Etienne starlet William Saliba, and have been tipped to wrap up a deal in the coming weeks.
The Gunners are coming off the back of a bitterly disappointing first campaign under Unai Emery, as they failed to secure a top four finish in the Premier League and suffered defeat in the Europa League final at the hands of rivals Chelsea.
In turn, they will be absent from the Champions League for a third consecutive season, and that in turn will perhaps have a negative impact on their transfer plans this summer.
However, according to Le 10 Sport, they could be closing in on an impressive signing, with the report suggesting that they could potentially finalise a deal for Saliba in the coming weeks, with the 18-year-old said to be valued at around €30m.
It’s worth noting that there is no confirmation of an agreement between the clubs or with the player, and so it would seem as though there is still a way to go before an announcement can be considered, but the report strongly suggests that Arsenal are well positioned and making progress.
Importantly though, it’s noted that Saliba could return to the Ligue 1 outfit on loan for a season, and so that may not appeal to the Gunners who will surely need immediate reinforcements to help their push next season.
Saliba made 19 appearances last season as he made a positive impression and showed signs that he has a bright future ahead of him.
Further, given Arsenal’s woeful defensive record last season which saw them concede 51 goals in 38 league games, which was the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings, they will need reinforcements in that department sooner rather than later.
Time will tell if a deal for Saliba is sealed, and whether or not he will have to return to France first for another year.