Saint-Ettiene are pushing to sign back William Saliba on loan from Arsenal before the transfer window shuts.
The 19-year-old was signed by the Gunners last year, but was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne. He spent the entirety of the 2019-20 season with the French side, making 12 appearances in the league.
According to Telefoot Chaine, the Ligue 1 side are engaging Arsenal in talks to prolong the loan deal for William Saliba, and want to wrap up a deal before the end of the window.
The arrivals of Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari have increased the competition for places in Arteta's defence, and a loan move away from the Emirates might represent the best option for William Saliba.
A transfer to fellow Premier League side Fulham is said to be in advanced discussions, although St Etienne would fancy their chances of scuppering the move with a last minute bid.
William Saliba, a prospect for the future
When Arsenal completed the purchase of William Saliba, he was not expected to slot right into the first team. The Gunners immediately loaned him back to his former club.
The France youth international had flourished in his first full season of professional football. Despite making just 19 appearances for Les Verts, his performances were enough to convince the Arsenal hierarchy to sanction his purchase for £27m, beating off competition from other clubs including Tottenham to secure his signature.
Another full season of top-flight football aided his development and even though the Ligue 1 season was truncated by the coronavirus pandemic, William Saliba benefitted from his increased profile.
He has since returned to the Emirates after missing the Coupe de France final in July, and was handed the number 4 jersey by Arsenal.
William Saliba has, however, found playing time hard to come by and is yet to make an appearance for the club in any of their seven matches in all competitions this season.
This would severely limit the development of William Saliba and guaranteed playing time is a must at this stage of his career.
Ultimately, the dream for Arsenal is a future defensive partnership between Saliba and Gabriel. A temporary separation for the pair would be in the club's best interests.Published 05 Oct 2020, 22:03 IST