It was fun while it lasted. Despite a late approach from Tottenham Hotspur while Arsenal were in the air flying to the United States for a preseason tour, France U21 international and Saint-Etienne center back William Saliba is set to sign with the Gunners, according to the BBC’s David Ornstein.
Arsenal set to win race to sign William Saliba. Close to completion after Saint Etienne centre-back opted for #AFC. Loan back to #ASSE next season. Also working on loan for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos & continue pursuit of Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney #RMFC #CelticFC— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 17, 2019
We’ve discussed the Dani Ceballos deal already — apparently Arsenal were able to offer terms more favorable to Real Madrid, namely a one-year loan with no option to buy. That purchase option was a sticking point with Spurs, who weren’t interested in being Madrid’s talent incubator. Still, it’s an annoying good signing for the Gooners, even if it’s only for one year. Sky is reporting that they are waiting for Zinedine Zidane to approve the loan, but it looks like it’ll happen soon.
Saliba is a bigger miss, in my opinion, but it sounds like the late bid was always a long-shot. The same Sky article is reporting that there was no actual bid made, just a formal approach for the player, so Arsenal are getting a young and supremely talented center back, an area of pretty substantial need for them. We got some pretty good #banter out of the deal, but nothing of real substance.
Boo. It was better when Arsenal weren’t signing anyone and we were stealing their targets, not the other way around. On to other players, I guess.