Arsenal are reportedly edging closer to agreeing the signing of William Saliba from Saint-Etienne, as it’s claimed he has agreed on personal terms.
The Gunners will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season next year, with Unai Emery failing to lead them back to the Champions League in his first campaign in charge.
After finishing outside of the top four in the Premier League, Arsenal suffered defeat in the Europa League final to rivals Chelsea, and so that will undoubtedly have been a huge blow for all concerned in north London.
However, they’ll have to put that disappointment behind them, regroup and try to strengthen the squad this summer to put themselves in a better position to avoid the same shortcomings again next season.
As part of that plan, The Sun report, via FootMercato, that they are closing in on the signing of Saliba, as it’s suggested that they’ve reached an agreement on personal terms with the 18-year-old, but there is still a key obstacle to a deal as they have yet to agree on a fee with St. Etienne for the £25m-rated starlet.
It’s added that Saliba could be a fundamental addition at Arsenal as he’s being lined up as a long-term replacement for stalwart Laurent Koscielny, but with Man City and Man Utd also said to be interested, Emery will hope that a deal can be wrapped up as soon as possible to avoid any complications.
Another key factor is that it’s suggested the French outfit want Saliba back on loan next season, but given Arsenal conceded 51 goals in 38 league games last season which gave them the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides, Emery needs reinforcements in that department as soon as possible and so it remains to be seen if a compromise can be reached on that point too.
Nevertheless, reportedly agreeing on personal terms is a huge breakthrough in itself, and so Arsenal will be buoyed by that as they look to make a key signing.