William Saliba tells Arsenal he wants to join them this summer as deal moves closer | Football | Sport
The Saint Etienne centre-back is rated at £26.7million with the Ligue 1 club wanting Saliba back on loan next season should he leave.
It’s believed he is close to agreeing a provisional five-year contract at the Emirates.
Unai Emery is on a strict financial budget this summer at Arsenal and it’s believed the clubs are struggling to agree a fee.
But the Daily Star claim that 18-year-old Saliba has told Arsenal he wants to make the switch.
Former Arsenal star Lauren has praised the teenager.
“Yes, he looks a very good player,” Lauren said.
“Strong, tall, can come out of the back with the ball and an international for France.
“He reads the game very well, which is important for a player at the back, you have to anticipate and he looks very good at just 18, so the future is bright!”
Saliba’s agent was recently spotted in the UK, posting on his Instagram story from a restaurant in Manchester.
Emery is keen to strengthen his side this summer after a fifth-placed Premier League finish.
But the Gunners boss knows he may just have to promote from within.
He recently said: ”I think we can improve first, by spending money to achieve players.
“In the past the club have done great work in watching players, finding and signing young players and developing our players in the academy.
“I have big respect for our work, for our players in the academy.
“I want to develop the players here — giving them progress to achieve something at a big club like we are.
“We can also achieve [buy] some players who are in other teams, who can come here and give us this performance—like [Virgil] Van Dijk with Liverpool.”