Bid made: Arsenal steal march on Tottenham after submitting formal £22.5m offer
Arsenal have stolen a march on Tottenham after submitting an opening £22.5m bid to sign highly-rated Saint-Etienne 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 table an offer for William Saliba…
Arsenal have stolen a march on Tottenham after submitting an opening £22.5m bid to sign Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to the Mirror.
Saliba came through the youth ranks at Saint-Etienne before breaking into the first team last year and a string of impressive performances have seen him forge a reputation as one of the most highly-rated youngsters in French football.
The 19-year-old made 19 appearances to help Saint-Etienne secure fourth in the Ligue 1 table last season and they finished the campaign boasting one of the best defensive records in the division.
The French Under-20 international has caught the attention of clubs here in the Premier League with the Mirror claiming that Arsenal and Tottenham have expressed their interest in signing the centre-back this summer.
Mauricio Pochettino is hoping to further strengthen his squad after reaching the Champions League final last season and Saliba could be viewed as a long-term replacement for Toby Alderweireld – who’s got one year left on his contract and is tipped to leave over the coming weeks.
However, it looks like Arsenal have stolen a march on their north London rivals as the Mirror says the Gunners have now tested Saint-Etienne’s resolve by tabling an opening offer worth £22.5m for Saliba’s signature.
The newspaper doesn’t indicate whether Saint-Etienne have responded to Arsenal’s supposed bid yet but widespread reports suggest the French outfit want Saliba back on loan as part of any deal.
That could prove to be a sticking point for Arsenal as Unai Emery needs to reinforce his defence immediately after they conceded 51 goals in their 38 Premier League games last season – which was worse than any of the top four and even more than the likes of Leicester and Newcastle.
Emery is only working on a budget of around £45m after failing to qualify for the Champions League so it’s unlikely Arsenal will be able to spend half of their transfer kitty on a defender who won’t be available for another 12 months.
However, Shkodran Mustafi has been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer so perhaps if Arsenal are able to raise extra funds by selling the German, they could afford to loan Saliba and sign another more experienced centre-back as a replacement.
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