Arsenal on the verge to agree £27m deal for Ligue 1 defender

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Arsenal are closing in on the securing the services of Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba, according to reports from France.

The 18-year-old defender is a top transfer target for Unai Emery this summer and the Gunners have already seen one bid turned down by Saint-Etienne.

The North London club would prefer to secure the services of Saliba immediately to the Emirates, however, Saint-Etienne keen on to have the 18-year-old at the club for the next season.

French outlet TF1 reports that Saint-Etienne will sell to the Gunners, with the deal set to be valued at around £27million.

Talks are in the final stages, with just a few details to sort out between both sides. the Gunners will loan Saliba back to Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne, with team president Roland Romeyer revealing the player’s wish was to stay in the French top-tier for another season.

‘He will stay at the club this season,’ Romeyer said.

‘It is an imperative condition should we come to an agreement for his transfer. It’s also William’s wish.’

Emery will be pleased to secure services of Saliba, who is highly rated in the French top-tier and was also a transfer target of Tottenham’s.

The Gunners head-coach has only been given £45m to spend this summer and in order to raise funds, they have to sell several first-team stars.