Football News

“There is not urgency”: Arsenal target William Saliba happy to stay at Saint-Etienne, claims coach

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 18:29, 2 July 2019

Arsenal target William Saliba looks set to remain at Saint-Etienne for the upcoming season.

The Gunners are reportedly in talks over the signing of the youngster, with the French club seeking a deal that would result in Saliba returning to the Ligue 1 club next season on loan.

Who is William Saliba? 5 things to know…

  • Saliba is an 18-year-old centre-half.
  • He became a regular for Saint-Etienne at the end of last season having made his debut in September 2018, playing on the right side of defence as well as in the centre.
  • He has represented France at U17, U18 and U19 level.
  • Jose Mourinho likened Saliba to Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma.
  • He has also been linked to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Whilst Ghislain Printant, Saint-Etienne’s head coach, has made it clear that the club don’t feel like they have to sell Saliba, it is believed that the sale will be sanctioned should Arsenal meet the French club’s asking price of 30 million Euros.

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

“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].

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

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Arsenal making moves in the transfer window

In a window which looked like it would be a non-event for the Gunners, the number of rumours circulating about potential incomings will be promising to Arsenal fans.

Saliba is not the only defender heavily linked with a move to North London: Kieran Tierney of Celtic has been the subject of two rejected bids, with Arsenal clearly very keen on the versatile left-back. Celtic are believed to be holding out for £20 million, a deal which would represent good value for Arsenal in the modern market.

It was revealed yesterday that Palace had also rejected a bid from their London rivals for talisman Wilfried Zaha, worth £40 million. It is believed that the Eagles’ value the Ivorian at closer to £80 million, meaning Arsenal will have to raise significant funds if they are to secure the 26-year-old’s signature.