Reports out of L’Equipe say that Arsenal has agreed to a 5-year provisional contract with William Saliba, an 18-year-old French central defender currently with St Etienne. The club are now entering into negotiations for a transfer fee with the French Club to make it final.
Curiously, any deal is reported to have Saliba play one more year in Ligue Un as a part of a loan. While that does nothing to help Arsenal’s current defensive predicament, Saliba is clearly a signing for the future and another year of development playing first team football might suit both clubs better than having another youngster to bolster the youth team at Arsenal.
Last season, Salibia played 16 games for St. Etienne and his debut season has garnered a fair bit of attention. Clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and others have all shown interest in the defender. Arsenal seems to be the most concrete suitor but will still have to work quickly to ensure the deal.
Expect Arsenal to continue to chase a more senior central defender in this window but this at least feels like a good step forward in developing the team.