By Wayne Veysey
Arsenal have offered a mammoth £37million in transfer fee and wages to seal the signing of William Saliba from Saint Etienne, Football Insider can reveal.
The Premier League club are finalising a deal in which the France Under-19 international will be signed and then loaned back to the Ligue 1 club for the forthcoming campaign.
An Arsenal source has told Football Insider the club have agreed a deal worth £27million including-add-ons for Saliba, 18, as well as a salary package worth £40,000-a-week over five years.
This means the total cost of the deal is at least £37million, although the transfer fee as well as the wages will be spread across many years.
Arsenal have survived a late ambush from Tottenham to agree terms with Saint Etienne and the deal will be finalised subject to a medical that might be held back until next week.
Saliba joined the Saint Etienne academy in 2016, has represented France in every age group and was part of the squad at the U20 European championships this summer.
His salary package will make him in the lower bracket of earners at Arsenal, but that is not unusual given his lack of senior experience.
The teenager’s contract is understood to be an incentivised one that will include uplifts based on him hitting certain performance-related targets.
The Frenchman will be Arsenal’s second signing of the summer after the arrival of the Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli, who is also 18 years old, from Ituano.
In other Arsenal news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider why he can’t believe ‘ridiculous’ Gunners bid.