Bengaluru, July 8: North London giants Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their chase to sign long-term target William Saliba with a £30million offer. St Etienne's 18-year-old centre-back has caught the attention of both the Gunners and their North London rivals Tottenham.
But Unai Emery's side has made the first move by making a £30m bid, according to reports in France Arsenal are said to have already agreed personal terms with the youngster but are yet to strike a deal with the Ligue 1 club.
Frenchman Saliba only broke into the St Etienne first-team last season and made just 16 appearances for the first-team. But in that short span of time he has shown enough quality to excite whole of Europe.
The youngster fits the profile of the player Emery has targeted since taking the reins at the Emirates last summer. Just like Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, who joined last summer, Saliba is a promising youngster who is likely to increase in value.
But, should Arsenal capture the defender, he is likely to remain at St Etienne on loan next season which might be a big problem for the Gunners.
It is a public fact that they are short of funds and amidst that, spending £30million or probably more on a player and not having him playing for another year will be a poor deal financially for the club.
Meanwhile, the Gunners' top target for the summer remains Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha. An initial £40m offer was rejected by the Eagles and the Ivory Coast international remained coy over his future.
Asked at the African Cup of Nations about a move to Arsenal, Zaha said: "I don’t know… we’ll see in the future.
"The only thing that’s on my mind right now is trying to win this cup."
Zaha is also a subject of interest of a few other clubs including his former club Manchester United where he had a poor spell previously.