Arsenal ‘Launch £22.5m Bid’ For William Saliba As They Look To Beat Tottenham To Youngster

Arsenal have made 18-year-old Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba their number one target this summer, and have made an opening bid of £22.5m.

Strengthening the defence is Gunners manager Unai Emery’s priority before the start of next season after seeing his team ship 51 goals in the Premier League during the last campaign, more than the likes of Everton, Leicester  City and even 12th placed Newcastle United.

The likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac came in for heavy criticism throughout the season, and Emery knows the need for a new centre-back is a pressing one.

Saliba enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season in Ligue 1, making 17 appearances and helping his side to a fourth-placed finish.

He has also represented France from U16 to U20 level and was coached by the father of PSG star Kylian Mbappe as a child.

However, Arsenal are likely to face competition from rivals Tottenham,  who are also keen to bolster their back line and are reportedly impressed by Saliba.

With a transfer budget of allegedly just £45m due to their failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Arsenal simply cannot afford to bring in star names, and are therefore looking towards signing young players with potential who they can then develop.

They have already had a £43m bid rejected for Sampdoria pair Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet and despite Crystal Palace  winger Wilfried Zaha being desperate to join them it looks as though they do not have the funds to complete a transfer for him.

Arsenal are, however, looking to move on a number of first-team players in order to free up space in the squad and to bolster the budget for transfers.

The likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been linked with an exit, while Mustafi may also be moved on.

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