William Saliba will join Arsenal for €25m plus €4m bonuses, a record transfer fee for current club St. Etienne, according to various reports.
RMC journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi reports Arsenal have agreed a €29m transfer fee including bonuses, calling it a ‘done deal’. Saliba’s desire to join Arsenal over Spurs ended up pushing the deal their way, and he’ll sign a five-year contract.
Fabrizio Romano also corroborated the report, saying it’s been ‘confirmed by Arsenal’. Romano claims the fee is €25m plus add-ons, so we can deduce the bonuses are around €4m to make the total fee Bouhafsi’s €29m.
The BBC‘s David Ornstein previously wrote that Arsenal were ‘set to beat’ Tottenham Hotspur to Saliba’s signing, before sending the defender back on loan to St. Etienne for the year. He reported a transfer fee of €30m (£27M), adding that it will be paid in instalments, but it seems the final figure is slightly less.
It seems the deal is edging closer to being officially announced, and a happy coincidence could help it on its way.
Arsenal are currently in the USA for their pre-season tour, and they travel to Washington DC after their game tomorrow. St. Etienne are already in Washington, playing a friendly against Montpellier tonight.
It would be easy enough to organise a photoshoot and medical if there’s any overlap in the schedule.