Arsenal are moving closer to making their first signing of the summer transfer window as they have agreed a five-year contract with William Saliba, according to French outlet Foot Mercato.
They report that negotiations have been thrashed out between the player and the club, but now Arsenal must sort out a transfer fee with Saint-Etienne.
There’s a chance that the Gunners will loan the teenage defender back to Saint Etienne for the coming season, according to Football365, via L’Equipe.
And the report also says that Arsenal must act fast to negotiate with the Ligue 1 club in order to get the deal over the line because there is plenty of interest in his services at home and abroad.
It’s the fact that Arsenal may not have Saliba at their disposal next season that makes the deal a bizarre one.
Unai Emery’s budget and Europa League football mean that Arsenal’s best hope is likely investing in young talent and hoping it can develop and take them back into the top four.
And while another year in France might be best for Saliba’s development, it doesn’t really help Arsenal in the short term – and they desperately need defensive improvements as soon as possible.