According to the Mirror, Arsenal are set to launch a formal bid to sign William Saliba after Unai Emery identified the £27m-rated Saint-Etienne defender as a replacement for Laurent Koscielny.
The boss is expected to overhaul his ageing squad this summer after a frustrating first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium and sorting out our dodgy defence has to be a main priority as we were woeful at the back once again during the last campaign.
A new centre-back is on the agenda as Shkodran Mustafi will hopefully find a new club while Koscielny’s future is in serious doubt as he has just 12 months left on his contract and so far he’s failed to agree terms over a new deal.
It’s led to speculation suggesting Arsenal are ready to cash-in and the Mirror are reporting that we’ve slapped a £10.6m asking price on Koscielny’s head amid interest from Borussia Dortmund.
The newspaper says the 33-year-old defender is tempted by a switch to Germany in order to play out his final years in the Bundesliga while playing Champions League football for a top European club.
Emery is already planning for Koscielny’s departure and the Mirror claim that although Arsenal have shown an interest in Dayot Upamecano and Joachim Andersen, William Saliba is the man identified as his replacement.
The paper says talks are already underway with Saint-Etienne and Arsenal are now ready to submit a formal offer for the £27m-rated defender as we look to fend off rival interest from Manchester United.
Saliba emerged as one of the most highly-rared youngsters in French football last season after impressing for Saint-Etienne to help them finish fourth in Ligue 1 and he’s also represented France at various youth levels so he sounds like he has a bright future.
However, Emery only has around £40m to spend this summer so we’ll have to sell Koscielny and possible even Mustafi if we’re to buy Saliba as well as strengthen all the other areas of the squad that need addressing.