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Arsenal to steal march on Man Utd by opening talks to sign £26m star

Arsenal are ready to steal a march on Manchester United by opening transfer talks with Saint-Etienne over a deal to sign £26m defender William Saliba

Managers are working hard trying to strengthen their squads during the summer transfer window so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip from around the globe. Today, Arsenal and Man Utd are linked with William Saliba…

Arsenal are ready to steal a march on Manchester United by opening transfer talks with Saint-Etienne over a deal to sign £26m-rated defender William Saliba this summer, according to reports in France via the Metro.

Saliba broke into the Saint-Etienne first team this season having come through the youth ranks and his impressive form lead to the 18-year-old establishing himself as a first team regular during the closing months of the campaign.

The France Under-19 international’s huge potential hasn’t gone unnoticed here in the Premier League as the Metro are citing a report from Le 10 Sport that claims Man Utd and Arsenal have been keeping a close eye on Saliba’s progress.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is gearing-up for a busy summer in the transfer market after United finished sixth in the league and the Norwegian coach is expected to strengthen his back four after conceding 54 goals this season.

Saliba fits the mold of the type of young player Solskjaer is reportedly looking for as the United boss is believed to be targetting up-and-coming talent that can develop at Old Trafford rather than established names.

However, it looks like Arsenal are ready to steal a march on Man Utd as Le10 Sport, via the Metro, claim the Gunners are poised to open formal transfer talks with Saint-Etienne over a potential deal to sign Saliba this summer.

Unai-Emery-arsenal

The teenage defender only recently signed a new long-term contract so Saint-Etienne are in a strong bargaining position but the French outlet suggests the Ligue 1 side will cash-in if £26m is put on the table.

However, there is a huge caveat Le10 Sport claim that Saint-Etienne want to keep hold of Saliba for at least another year so they’ll demand the centre-back is loaned back to them for 12 months as part of any deal.

According to the report, Arsenal aren’t against the idea of loaning Saliba back to Saint-Etienne for next season but the Gunners are still weighing up whether to meet their asking price for the defender.

Unai Emery is facing a crucial summer in the transfer market and tightening up Arsenal’s leaky defence is a priority after the north Londoners shipped 51 goals in the league this campaign so a new central defender is on the agenda.

READ MORE –> Arsenal transfer news | Man Utd transfer news

However, the Spaniard is expected to be working on a tight budget at the Emirates this summer so I’m not sure Arsenal can afford to splash £26m on a player that won’t be available next season if he’s immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne.

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