William Saliba reportedly wants to join Arsenal, but his club Saint-Etienne prefer Tottenham’s offer with the transfer saga for the defender rumbling on.

Arsenal’s search for a young central defender has already seen its share of complications due to the club’s inability to compete financially with other rivals. The William Saliba chase has mainly been rife over the last month and is set for another twist. According to The Sun, it seems Saliba prefers a move to Arsenal, but his club Saint-Etienne are considering Tottenham’s offer.

Arsenal set the early tone in this saga with the chase for the young defender. Unable to meet Saint-Etienne’s asking price initially, the Gunners were looking to save money by doing a economical deal. However, due to Saint-Etienne’s reluctance to sell the centre-half for a lower price, Arsenal made an attempt to match what the French club initially asked for.

It followed with Arsenal reportedly agreeing personal terms with Saliba and the transfer looked to be reaching a conclusion. However, Saint-Etienne insisted on keeping Saliba for another year, albeit on loan, and Arsenal agreed to these terms. This meant the Gunners would not part with too much of their limited transfer budget this summer as they had a structure for the deal in mind.

However, Tottenham emerged as late contenders and bid £30 million for the defender, effectively turning Saint-Etienne’s head over a potential deal with the Gunners. Spurs offered more money than Arsenal and were reportedly ready to pay a significant part of it up front. They were willing to allow Saliba to spend another season on loan as well.

Tottenham and Arsenal at loggerheads over signing William Saliba. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)
Tottenham and Arsenal at loggerheads over signing William Saliba. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Arsenal were then forced to at least come close to what Tottenham were offering and hence made a £30 million bid for the defender. Although the latest offer is more than what the French club had wanted, there is a reluctance from Saint-Etienne’s side to accept this offer.

To add another twist to the saga, Saliba is intent on joining the Gunners instead of Tottenham. However, considering Tottenham’s terms were much better than what Arsenal offered, Saint-Etienne are mulling over accepting Spurs’ bid than that of Arsenal’s.

Arsenal had been hoping to wrap the deal for Saliba and sort their finances before chasing other essential targets. Celtic’s Kieran Tierney is a priority target for the North Londoners, who also have to find a replacement for Laurent Koscielny, who is forcing an exit from the club, especially Saliba probably being a solution from next season.

In terms of the Saliba saga, Arsenal need to reach a compromise with Saint-Etienne, as more delays will only result in hampering their plans for other transfers. Saliba is a solid talent with a promising future, and the pursuit of the player by the North London clubs shows how much they value him as a future asset.

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