William Saliba will return to Arsenal on June 30th as things stand, but Claude Puel and Saint-Etienne are still hoping to keep him for one last match.

William Saliba (Photo via Saint-Etienne on Twitter)
William Saliba (Photo via Saint-Etienne on Twitter)

Speaking to the French media on Wednesday, Claude Puel confirmed they’re still holding onto the slim hope of getting William Saliba back for the Coupe de France final match in July.

“William is at the end of the contract at the end of the month,” Puel began. “He takes great pleasure in training with his team, we will see what can be done to keep him a little longer with us.”

GFFN add that Saliba would ideally like to play the match as well, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The problem is that Arsenal know they’ll owe another €2.5m in bonuses if the defender makes another start.

It’s not exactly smart to extend a player’s loan deal so he can play a one-off match for another club that will cost you €2.5m. Even if it’s what the player wants.

Of course, Arsenal could negotiate that clause out of Saliba’s contract. They’re well within their rights just to refuse to extend the loan, so Saint-Etienne have to accept a compromise if they want the defender in their cup-final squad.

If the two clubs agree to waive the fee, maybe Arsenal would accept extending the loan so Saliba could get to experience his first cup final. Otherwise, I can’t see it happening.

For now, Saliba is in training with Saint-Etienne. At least until next week, he’s taking advantage of the final days of his contract with his soon-to-be former club.