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Arsenal 'launch £22.5m bid for William Saliba amid Tottenham Hotspur interest'

Arsenal 'launch £22.5m bid for William Saliba'
© Reuters
Arsenal reportedly lodge an opening £22.5m bid for Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba in an effort to beat North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to his signature.

Arsenal have reportedly lodged an opening bid of £22.5m for Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba.

Unai Emery is understood to have made the 18-year-old his number one transfer target this summer as he looks to bolster a backline which conceded 51 goals and kept only eight clean sheets in the Premier League last season.

The Gunners held talks with Saint-Etienne over a possible move earlier this week, and The Mirror reports that they have now made an official offer of £22.5m.

Arsenal were forced into moving quickly following reports that North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are interested in hijacking their move for the youngster.

However, Saint-Etienne are thought to value Saliba at closer to £27m and are under no pressing need to lower that asking price considering that his contract does not expire until 2023.

Meeting that figure could be a problem for Arsenal, though, as they have a limited transfer budget of just £45m and remain hopeful of signing Kieran Tierney and Wilfried Zaha as well as Saliba.

The France Under-20 international enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018-19, making 17 appearances as Saint-Etienne finished fourth in Ligue 1.

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