William Saliba won’t play for Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain later this month, according to head coach Claude Puel.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 13, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND: William Saliba of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 13, 2019. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Saint-Etienne site En Vert et Contre Tous report quotes from Claude Puel confirming William Saliba won’t participate in the cup final with the club later this month.

“Yes, William Saliba will be absent,” the Saint-Etienne head coach confirmed. He wouldn’t go into any details on the matter, solely indicating the player’s absence.

This supports the recent insider reports from other Saint-Etienne sites that the two clubs failed to come to an agreement, despite further negotiations to try and find a way for the centre-back to feature in the match.

We still haven’t had an official club statement from Arsenal or Saint-Etienne. It’s possible we won’t ever get one now. After all, the two clubs both addressed the situation publicly at the end of last month.

The end result is still the same now, in that he can’t play in the match. There’s little reason to bring it all back up again with another statement.

Arsenal were insisting that Saint-Etienne remove the €2.5m bonus clause in Saliba’s contract, as well as have him follow a specific training regime leading up to the game. The Ligue 1 club weren’t keen on either stipulation.

That was never likely to end well. Arsenal had no reason to concede ground on either point and Saint-Etienne had no bargaining power. Saliba is Arsenal’s player and they can just refuse to loan him out.

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