We have an update on Tottenham Hotspur’s GAZUMPING of Arsenal over France U20 and Saint-Etienne center back William Saliba. The last we checked in, Daniel Levy had put in a cheeky mostly cash-up-front €30m plus bonuses bid for Saliba, who was close to signing for Arsenal, while the Gunners were in the air flying to America for their preseason tour.
That bid was just over Arsenal’s more structured bid of €27m, and ruffled all kinds of Gooner feathers when the plane touched down. Now, according to RMCSport, Arsenal has countered by matching Spurs’ bid, which has put the ball in ASSE’s court. The club is responding by taking a step back to assess the situation.
According to the report, ASSE will pause for a while to take stock of the situation and see where Saliba wants to go and where he’d like to play. There’s also the possibility of a north London bidding war over Saliba, and so Saint-Etienne rightly would like to see if they can wring a few extra million euros out of either club before finalizing a deal.
There would be advantages to either club — Arsenal’s defense is a mess and he could be of help to the Gunners right away. Spurs are the better club right now and while it might take a while to break through Saliba would probably be the heir apparent to Jan Vertonghen in Spurs’ back line. There’s also rumors that both clubs would want to loan Saliba back to ASSE for the season.
It certainly sounds as though Saliba will belong to a north London club by the end of the summer. We just don’t know which part of north London, and might not for a little while.