Arsenal have been accused of ‘short-term’ financially-motivated thinking over £27m defender William Saliba.
The Gunners bought Saliba last summer and loaned him back to Saint-Etienne for the season.
When it became apparent that Saliba was not going to be part of Arsenal’s plans this season, another loan return to the French club appeared to be on the cards.
But that move fell through, while plans to loan him to a Championship club were also abandoned.
Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel is baffled by the treatment of the centre-half, who has been left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad and may face the same exile from their Premier League squad.
“It was short-term [thinking], even for a young player,” Puel told L’Equipe. “A superb player like William, to whom I wish the best, has not even made it to Arsenal’s Europa League squad. Where is the logic, if not financial?
“He had a great desire to join us. The club are a bit like family and friends. His adaptation would have been instant.
“This would have happened if all the conditions had met. It had to remain consistent with our finances and his contract, particularly for the management.”