Arsenal want another centre-back despite sealing £27m Saliba

Annette Crawford
July 13, 2019

The deal Arsenal had in place for Saliba would have seen him being signed this summer but spend the next season on loan back at St Etienne.

It is being reported that they have bid more than what Arsenal have offered and that they will be meeting with Les Verts on Saturday with the intention of closing the deal.

They have more money to spend after their run to the Champions League final, while Unai Emery's transfer budget is restricted after his side's loss in the Europa League final.

However, Tottenham have made a last-ditch attempt to secure the services of the France Under-20 worldwide by offering a marginally better deal.

Arsenal had ironed out a fee with Saint Etienne, but have been struggling to finalise potential bonus payments, as Bouhafsi has explained.

It is not clear yet whether, like Arsenal were planning to do, Spurs would loan Saliba back to Saint-Etienne next season, but it is certainly a move that would be met with delight by their supporters, who would dearly love to steal a player from right under the nose of Arsenal.

It is also understood Tottenham have offered better add-ons if Saliba hits a number of targets with them.

Arsenal missing out on Saliba would be doubly as bitter a setback in a week in which captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the United States for the club's three-game pre-season tour as he digs his heels in over his wish to be released from his contract at the Emirates in order to return to France.

But Arsenal are desperate to raise cash from sales to reinvest in the squad and want £8.9m for him, with the club willing to dig in their heels.

Toby Alderweireld's future with Spurs is unknown with AS Roma reportedly eyeing up a move for the Belgian.

At one point it looked as though the Serie A giants had shelved their interest - but a deal is now back on the cards after high-level talks yesterday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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