Arsenal update: Agent of £26m star fuels transfer talk after travelling to England

By on June 10, 2019

According to the Mirror, William Saliba’s agent has fuelled speculation linking the Arsenal target with a move to the Premier League after confirming he’s currently in England.

Unai Emery is expected to strengthen his defence after we conceded 70 goals across all competitions last season and a new commanding centre-back is desperately needed. We’ll hopefully find a club to take Shkodran Mustafi off our hands while Laurent Koscielny is also being linked with a move as he has just one year left on his deal so Emery needs to buy at least one new defender.

Saliba has been linked in the media recently with Goal reporting last week that Emery has identified the Saint-Etienne youngster as a prime target after being priced out of a move for Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti.

The Mirror claims Saint-Etienne are demanding £26m for Saliba’s signature this summer and they want him back on loan for next season as part of any deal, but Arsenal won’t entertain such a proposal as we obviously can not afford to have a £26m signing unavailable for selection next year.

Saliba’s agent, Djibril Niang, has now fuelled speculation linking his client with a move to the Premier League after confirming on Instagram that’s he’s currently in England. However, a bit of a concern for Arsenal will be his exact location as Niang tagged himself at the Ivy Asia in Manchester!

Surely if Arsenal were to hold talks with the agent those negotiations would take place in London? Worryingly, Le10Sport reported a couple of weeks ago that Man Utd had joined Arsenal in the race for Saliba’s signature while I’ve seen other rumours suggesting City are also looking at him.

Hopefully the agent is just stirring things up and he wasn’t actually in Manchester on transfer business with our rivals as I think he’d be a decent long-term signing for Arsenal if we could land him this summer.

The teenager was hugely impressive for Saint-Etienne during the second half of last season to help them finish fourth in Ligue 1 and he’s represented France at several youth levels so he sounds like he has a bright future.

However, I would be concerned about spending £26m of our very tight [£45m!] budget on him as Emery needs to bring in a number of players so fingers crossed we can drive the price down – although that’s unlikely if United and City are also in the mix.