Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly continuing to scrap over the signing of Saint Etienne youngster William Saliba, having now made matching bids.
The defence is undoubtedly a bigger issue for the Gunners based on last season, with Unai Emery’s side conceding 51 goals in 38 Premier League games, giving them the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings.
In contrast, Spurs secured another top-four finish and went on a memorable run to the Champions League final, and so Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to bolster his squad where possible to ensure that they continue to fight for major honours moving forward.
It appears as though both clubs have set their sights on Saliba as a possible signing, as RMC Sport note that Arsenal have now made an improved offer for the 18-year-old starlet, increasing it to €30m to match Tottenham’s bid.
The youngster enjoyed an impressive breakthrough with the Ligue 1 outfit last season, while he has been capped from U16 to U20 level for France as he appears to have a very bright future ahead of him.
As noted by the Evening Standard, doubts have been raised over Toby Alderweireld’s future at Tottenham this summer, and so perhaps if an exit does materialise for the Belgian, a swoop for Saliba will make even more sense from a Spurs perspective to try and fill the void that he leaves behind.
Time will tell how the situation plays out, but it would seemingly suit Saint Etienne perfectly as a bidding war could escalate, while it remains to be seen which option Saliba prefers.
Given that they can offer Champions League football and arguably a more immediate hope of winning major trophies as Arsenal continue to toil and fall short of breaking back into the top four in the Premier League, it could be said that Tottenham may well be in a stronger position to deal a transfer blow to their rivals.