What William Saliba wants as Arsenal look to beat Tottenham to Saint-Etienne transfer


That’s according to Saint-Etienne boss Ghislain Printant.

Saliba is the subject of interest from north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham with the teenage defender rated highly across Europe.

The 18-year-old only broke into the first-team at Saint-Etienne last term, going on to make 16 league appearances at centre-back and right-back.

The Gunners are currently in talks with the Ligue 1 club, who want €30million (£26.5m) to sell their academy product and for Saliba to spend the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

That would be a problem for Arsenal, who need defensive reinforcements imminently after leaking 51 goals in 38 Premier League games last season.

Unai Emery also has the issue of working with a limited budget before player sales, with any agreement to sign Saliba taking a significant chunk out of his funds, thought to be no more than £45m, without any immediate return.

That has led to suggestions Spurs could pounce, with RMC Sport reporting that they have informed the French outfit they will soon make an offer for the France under-20 international. 

And Printant has seemingly opened the floor for Spurs to enter negotiations, despite suggestions Saliba has agreed terms with Arsenal, by insisting that there is no rush to agree to his departure and that both the club and the player want him back in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region next term.

“The sale of Saliba is not an absolute necessity,” Printant said.

“There is no urgency [to do so]. He is courted by clubs.

“From a sporting point of view we want to keep him next season and that’s his wish too. He still has room for development [here].

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“We will see. Our goal is for him to be with us again this season.”

Arsenal are also chasing left-back Kieran Tierney of Celtic as they seek to bolster their back-line, with the Hoops having reportedly knocked back an opening offer of £15m and a follow-up bid of £19m.

The Scottish champions view the 22-year-old Scotland international at closer to £25m and according to The Sunday Post via Football Scotland are weighing up an offer of £20m up-front with a further £5m in add-ons.

Arsenal are also said to be willing to offer out-of-favour full-back Carl Jenkinson in the deal with Celtic on the hunt for a new right-back this summer.

Express Sport understands interest in Middlesbrough’s Paddy McNair has cooled with Luton Town’s Jack Stacey and Adam Matthews of Sunderland, who spent four years at Celtic earlier in his career, among Neil Lennon’s targets.



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