Mikel Arteta says Arsenal and Saint-Etienne are still searching for an agreement for William Saliba to play in the Coupe de France final.
Speaking to the media this week, Mikel Arteta explained that Arsenal and Saint-Etienne are still in talks over William Saliba.
“The clubs are dealing with the situation,” Arteta said. “You know what happened in the last few days, I prefer to stay away from that. Hopefully, they find a good agreement on the situation in good terms that helps the player as well.”
This is the last day for any kind of agreement between the two clubs over a loan for the Coupe de France final later this month. The Ligue 1 transfer window closes on Thursday 9th July at midnight, staying shut for a month.
Negotiations initially broke down over disagreements on what Arsenal would owe for the loan extension and the training plan Saliba would use over the next month.
Normally, you’d expect the loan club to cover at least some of the financial costs of an extension. However, if Arsenal merely extended the loan on its original terms and Saliba started in the final, the Gunners would owe Saint-Etienne €2.5m due to a bonus clause in his contract.
Arsenal obviously wanted to remove that clause before agreeing to another loan (which they are under no obligation to do). They also wanted Saliba on a specific training regime after his injuries this season. Saint-Etienne weren’t happy with either demand.
The problem for the French club is they have little-to-no bargaining power. The only reason Arsenal are still in talks is because they’re trying to do what’s best for Saliba. But Saliba is Arsenal’s player and they don’t have to pay money and risk injury for him to play for another club.
We should know more about the outcome in the coming hours. Expect another angry statement from Saint-Etienne if things don’t go well.