Arsenal close to making 18-year-old their first summer signing – report

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Arsenal are close to agreeing a deal to sign Saint Etienne defender William Saliba this summer, according to reports in France.

French outlet Le10Sport, as quoted by the Daily Star, is reporting that the north London side are keen on a move to bring the 18-year-old defender to The Emirates this summer.

Arsenal have reportedly been keeping a close eye on Saliba in recent weeks as they look to bolster their options at the back ahead of next season.

It is claimed in the same story that Saint Etienne will want a fee of around £26m for the teenager. Arsenal are said to be willing to pay that fee but they could loan him back to the French club for another season.

The same article says that Arsenal and Saint Etienne are still “locked” in negotiations – however, a deal is still close enough that it could be agreed in the coming weeks.

Saliba made 16 Ligue 1 appearances for Saint Etienne last season.

Arsenal are thought to be on the lookout for a number of signings this summer, although their transfer budget may be limited by their failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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