Arsenal are set to seal the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, despite a late attempt from North London rivals Tottenham to hijack the deal.
The highly-rated teenager will become Unai Emery’s first major signing of the summer, with the 18-year-old set to move to the Emirates for a fee in the region of £27m.
Saliba is now set to be announced as an Arsenal player subject to a medical, though the defender will be loaned back to the French side for the 2019/20 season to continue his development.
Unai Emery was believed to be desperate to add to his defensive options this summer, though the signing of Saliba has been made with the long-term in mind.
Saliba will become Arsenal’s second signing of the close season, following the arrival of fellow teenager Gabriel Martinelli, who joinedthe Gunners in a £6m deal from Brazilian side Ituano earlier this summer.
Despite reportedly having limited finances this summer, Arsenal’s transfer activity is likely to continue. The club saw a bid for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha rejected earlier this month, whilst they are also believed to be interested in Brazil international Everton Soares and a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos.