Arsenal are close to finalising a deal for Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba, according to TF1.
The French TV station reports that a €30m (£27m) fee has been agreed but the 18-year-old will spend next season with the French club on loan.
Supporters on Twitter can’t understand why the Gunners would agree to a loan back clause considering the club’s defensive problems:
Most Arsenal thing as we are fast becoming a joke of a club. In massive need of defenders and we buy one for 30m and loan him back?! Emery and the board clearly think our defence is good enough. Mustafi and co incoming next season.
— Abul Malik Hussain (@AbsMalik110) 6 July 2019
Can’t we give them mustafi on loan and let saliba come through now
— OMERTA ☠️ (@adebolaabayomi) 6 July 2019
But we need someone now ..
— Jonty Everton (@JontySA) 6 July 2019
Which means there will be no new defender in new season also?
— TALIB ABDULLAH (@tabd548) 6 July 2019
So technically, we still need to sign a defender
— Emery (@Tsoli07) 6 July 2019
Are we not learning? Defence and top class defensive midfielder has cost us for past 10 years…. last year was worst ever. Need to score 4 goals before we win a game. I thought this summer they were sort out this mess instead of going for wingers!!! Farce of a club
— Liam Farrell (@liam5677777) 6 July 2019
— Rico Suavè (@Mr_Andu) 6 July 2019
I won't be mad a bit if we pay them like 5m this year and 25 next year,but if we don't do that ,we're so dumb.
— Lifely (@Lifely99113903) 6 July 2019
If we don't sign another CB it's a waste of time
— Ivens (@rogivens) 6 July 2019
It may be the case that the only way Saint-Etienne would let Saliba leave is if he was to be loaned back to the club.
Arsenal may have seen it as a price worth paying for securing one of the most exciting young prospects in Europe. He has also been tracked by Tottenham.
Fans will be hoping that if Saliba is signed that the fee is not paid upfront so some of this season’s transfer budget will be used on a centre-half who can join the club this summer instead.
The Gunners have only made one signing so far during this transfer window, with Gabriel Martinelli having joined from Brazilian club Ituano.