Arsenal have reportedly agreed on a deal for Saint-Etienne defender, William Saliba. The deal which is reportedly worth £26million could see the Ligue 1 star, who made 16 appearances last season for Les Verts head towards London before the end of this week.
However, it is unlikely that Saliba would be a regular starter under Unai Emery this season despite Arsenal’s defensive troubles last season — they kept just one Premier League clean sheet away from home —
A season-long loan back to St Etienne could, therefore, suit all parties.
Saint-Etienne president Roland Romeyer has claimed that the player is keen to spend another year at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
And if Arsenal do loan the teenager back to Saint-Etienne it could give them extra flexibility in the transfer market this summer.
They may delay paying the majority of the fee until next year, giving them more to spend on other targets.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have already had one bid of £40m turned down by Crystal Palace for Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha, who is Emery’s No 1 attacking target.
Zaha is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations and scored a winner in Ivory Coast’s v 1-0 victory over Mali in the round of 16 on Monday night.