Arsenal are currently unwilling to offer the full €30m asking price for St. Etienne defender William Saliba, 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)

L’Equipe (via GFFN) report that Arsenal are not yet disposed to offer the full €30m for Saliba. Previous reports suggested the Gunners had submitted a bid of €23m plus €7m bonuses, but St. Etienne wanted the entire fee guaranteed.

Personal terms are already agreed with the centre-back himself, with Saliba signing a five-year contract with Arsenal. It’s just about convincing St. Etienne to sell at this point.

The other well-documented issue is that St. Etienne want Saliba back on loan for next season, with boss Ghislain Printant publically insisting in a press conference that the 18-year-old still needs to grow with his current club.

You can understand Arsenal’s hesitance to pay the full €30m for a player they aren’t even going to get immediately. They clearly rate Saliba highly, but that’s a costly deal for any player given the size of the club’s transfer budget.

Nonetheless, the fact that Saliba is clearly willing to join should help the two clubs to eventually come to an agreement, unless the deal is hijacked by a third party in the meantime.