After weeks of speculation, Arsenal were thought to be closing in on a £27m move for centre-back Saliba.
The 18-year-old is one of the mostly highly-rated young talents in France, having broken into the Saint-Etienne first team this season.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery is looking to reinforce his back line this summer, having leaked 51 goals last season, significantly more than any of the teams in the top four.
His search for a new centre-back will no doubt have also been stepped up by the news that Laurent Koscielny is looking to force a move away from north London this summer, as he refused to travel with the rest of the squad on their tour of the USA.
However, what Emery thought was nearly a done deal has been jeopardised by Spurs renewing their interest in Saliba.
Spurs have ended their transfer drought this summer to bring in Tanguy Ndombele for a club record £53.8m, with Leeds youngster Jack Clarke also making a move for around £10m.
And having persuaded chairman Daniel Levy to dust off his cheque book, Mauricio Pochettino’s spending isn’t expected to end there.
Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos and Fulham’s versatile wide-man Ryan Sessegnon are also tipped to make a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, Pochettino is keen to bring in a new centre-back with two of his current crop nearing the end of their contracts.
Belgian duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have both entered the final year of their current deals.
And the former could leave this summer, with Roma chief Franco Baldin reportedly in London to discuss a £25m deal.
Alderweireld is not expected to sign a new contract with Spurs, meaning he will leave for free next summer if Tottenham fail to offload him in this transfer window.
Conversely, fellow countryman Vertonghen could be in line for a new deal.
The 32-year-old has been a virtual ever-present during Pochettino’s reign, also filling in at left-back on occasion.
Spurs have already activated a clause in his contract to extend his deal for another year, and Vertonghen is not thought to be seeking a move away from north London.