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Report: Arsenal closing in on £27m-rated central defender

Arsenal have advanced their attempts to sign Saint Etienne defender William Saliba this summer, according to French outlet Le 10 Sport.

They report that the Gunners have furthered their bid to bring the teenage defender in recent times and a deal could be concluded within weeks.

The reported asking price is around 30 million euros (£27 million) and the French club will apparently ask for the teenager back on loan for next season as part of any deal.

That has apparently not put Arsenal off – which seems slightly odd as they need instant improvement – but perhaps they will be able to take the loan back option off the table as negotiations rumble on.

(TF-Images/Getty Images)

Arsenal need central defensive improvement and spending such a hefty transfer fee on a teenage defender would be quite the show of faith from Unai Emery in Saliba.

They cannot afford to let him go back out on loan to France – the Gunners need to get their bodies through the door now and spending a chunk of their transfer budget on a player who won’t even play for the club next season just isn’t a viable option.

But spending on young talent is probably Arsenal’s best hope of moving forward, it’s just a case of developing it in a better way than Arsene Wenger was doing by the end of his Arsenal reign when many a promising player stagnated under his guidance.

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