Arsenal to beat Man United to the signing £26m-rated CB, talks at advanced stage

Arsenal are now in pole position to sign French and Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba, according to reports.

The Gunners ended last season as one of the prolific teams in the league but their leaky defence let them down. The North London club conceded the excess of 50 goals but Emery is looking to shore up his back line with new recruits.

Saliba was coached by the father of Kylian Mbappe when he started his career at six. He moved to Saint-Etienne in 2017 and broke into their first team only last September. He was a key figure for the Jean-Louis Gasset’s side that finished the season in fourth place.

The youngster’s agent was spotted at Old Trafford at the weekend, and it fueled speculation that he could join Manchester United in this transfer window. However, there are claims that Arsenal are front-runners for the player’s signature.

According to French outlet Le 10 Sport via the Metro,  Arsenal have advanced talks for the player and it appears a deal could be completed as soon as the coming weeks.

Saint-Etienne are holding out for €30million (£26m) and Arsenal could spend that amount on the player as they are desperate to sign a centre-back. The French club wants to player to return on loan for them for the whole of next season but the Gunners cannot agree on that type of deal.

Arsenal are limited in transfer funds and the best way to utilise what they have is to invest in young players.