Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Tottenham try to hijack Arsenal’s deal for St Etienne defender William Saliba

Tottenham try to hijack Arsenal’s deal for St Etienne defender William Saliba

Tottenham are in talks with Saint-Etienne over the signing of defender William Saliba, according to Sky sources.

Saliba himself had already agreed a 5-year contract with The Gunners, in a deal that would have seen the Frenchman return to ASSE on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.

Juve and Tottenham have been seen as the frontrunners for the 20-year-old but you can now add Arsenal to the list of suitors if the reports in Italy are accurate. Arsenal, however, are still confident that the player will keep his word and join the club.

The main obstacle for Arsenal would be Champions League football, both Juve and Spurs can offer that, we cannot and if all three clubs were to meet his personal demands then lack of participation in Europe's premier competition would put us at a severe disadvantage.

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Arsenal had delved deep in negotiations for the €30m rated defender but Saint-Étienne were unable to accept the payment structure suggested by Arsenal.

Although it is not official, widespread reports claim that the Gunners are set to sign Saliba from Saint-Etienne for €30m (£27m) but he will be loaned back to the French side.

Emery's limited transfer budget has made it hard for the Spaniard to land his top targets, with Celtic demanding £25m for left-back Kieran Tierney while a £40m bid for Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha was given short shrift as the Eagles demand £80m.

Manchester United have also been linked with the Benfica centre-back, who has a release clause of £54m.

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