French Media: Arsenal deal for William Saliba almost done

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Arsenal’s deal for William Saliba is ‘progressing well’ according to a report from France despite the fact it sounds like a really stupid deal from Arsenal’s point of view.

The 18-year-old Saint-Etienne centreback has been linked with Arsenal for a while now as they look to find both a cheap and effective solution to their defensive problems.

Is an 18-year-old the answer? Probably not for the next few seasons, but it could well be Arsenal are looking ahead for a change and see the chance to bring in a third centreback at a reasonable price who can then be used for cover as he gains experience.

Except his price is not reasonable.

According to a report in Le10Sport, Arsenal’s deal is ‘progressing well’ for the right-footer who is valued just under £11m. £11m is a perfectly reasonably price in today’s market.

However, Saint-Etienne are believed to want around €30m (and Saliba back on loan for a season meaning a large outlay for a player Arsenal can’t even use) but for that money, Arsenal should expect a player who is ready this season not in a few years time.

While he could well be the next Virgil van Dijk and see his value skyrocket, €30m for an 18-year-old is an awfully big gamble when you only have pennies to play with, making Saliba neither cheap nor nailed-on effective.

The player’s agent was recently spotted in Manchester, prompting speculation that the player was set for United or City who are much more likely to pay this sort of money for a young player they can’t even play.