Arsenal have responded to Tottenham Hotspur’s offer for William Saliba by raising their own to match it, according to reports in France.
French outlet RMC have been the leading source on this story, and they bring us the latest twist in the saga.
RMC claim Arsenal have decided to react to Tottenham attempting to outbid them by aligning their own offer with that of their North London rivals.
As a result, the current situation is that Arsenal and Spurs have both offered around €30m as a basic fee.
St. Etienne are stalling on the deal for two reasons. Firstly, they want to see if either club will raise the stakes further. Secondly, they want to find out exactly what the player himself wants to do.
Based on previous reports, this should swing the balance back in Arsenal’s favour. L’Equipe (via GFFN) claimed in June that Arsenal were Saliba’s preferred destination if it came to a battle between the two clubs.
It doesn’t look like this deal is going to move very quickly. There’s no longer any reason for St. Etienne to push it through, as they know they have a fall-back option if one of the deals doesn’t come off.
On the other hand, St. Etienne’s pre-season is well underway, and so far Saliba hasn’t played any part in it.
The longer this saga drags on, the more unsettling it’s going to be for one of their starters, and the less prepared he’s going to be for the new season.