Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign William Saliba from St. Etienne, but not for the €40m claimed by certain outlets, according to reports in France.

Montpellier’s French forward Gaitan Laborde (L) vies with Saint-Etienne’s French forward William Saliba (R) during the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Montpellier (MHSC) on May 10, 2019, at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France. (Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP / Getty Images)

St. Etienne outlet Peuple-Vert initially reported on Wednesday morning that Saliba had made the decision to join Arsenal, and the transfer was agreed for €33m plus €7m in bonuses.

They also claimed there’s a clause entitling St. Etienne to 20% of any profit Arsenal make selling Saliba on in future – but only the profit. For example, if Arsenal sell for the same price or less than they bought Saliba for, they’d owe St. Etienne nothing. If they sold for €10m more than the purchase price, they’d owe €2m.

Laurent Hess, described by GFFN as a ‘respected local St. Etienne journalist’, disputes the claims. He writes for But! Football Club that a source close to the deal has confirmed that the transfer is about to be completed for just €30m.

For anyone who hasn’t been following the deal, both outlets confirm Saliba will be loaned back to his current club this season. The 18-year-old is signing a five-year deal with Arsenal, but he wants to continue his development in France for one more year.