Arsenal reportedly lead the race to sign William Saliba from St-Etienne this summer, but Tottenham are said to be trying to scupper their plans.
The Gunners must improve their defence this summer as after conceding 51 goals in 38 Premier League games last season, giving them the second worst defensive record out of the top nine sides, it’s a glaring weakness for Unai Emery.
As noted by L’Equipe, they had reportedly agreed on personal terms with Saliba last week to offer a long-term solution in that department, and while they are still regarded as favourites to land his signature, it’s now claimed that Tottenham have entered the race.
It’s added that the defender is valued between €25m-€30m and now the Gunners face competition which will be a blow as they would have hoped to swoop for Saliba as quickly as possible to get a deal over the line.
Importantly though, it’s suggested that his preference remains Arsenal, although one key factor in negotiations could be that Saint-Etienne wish for the youngster to return on loan next season, and so it remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal and Spurs are willing to factor that into any agreement.
From Arsenal’s perspective, they’ll surely be desperate to keep him at the Emirates as they need immediate reinforcements, but if it means fending off Tottenham and getting their top target, then perhaps they will have to give in and accept that term.
Saliba certainly impressed last season, making 19 appearances for the French outfit which in turn has seemingly led to him catching the eye of Arsenal and Tottenham.
However, the former will now be desperate to avoid a scenario in which their rivals hijack a move for the talented ace, which will force Emery to look elsewhere for a solution.