Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to reports in France.
The centre-back is a top target for Unai Emery this summer and Arsenal have already seen one bid rejected by Saint-Etienne.
Arsenal would prefer to bring Saliba immediately to the Emirates, but Saint-Etienne want to have the 18-year-old back on loan for the coming season. French outlet TF1 claim Saint-Etienne will sell to Arsenal, with the deal set to be worth £27million.
Talks are in the final stages, with just a few details to sort out between both sides.
Arsenal will loan Saliba back to Saint-Etienne, with club president Roland Romeyer revealing the player’s wish was to remain in Ligue 1 for another campaign. ‘He will stay at the club this season,’ Romeyer said.
‘It is an imperative condition should we come to an agreement for his transfer.
It’s also William’s wish.’ Emery will be pleased to sign Saliba, who is highly rated in France and was also a target of Tottenham’s.
The Arsenal boss has only been given £45m to spend this summer and needs to be frugal with his transfer funds.