Arsenal are eager to sign William Saliba this summer in a deal that should not impact their ‘modest budget’.
The Gunners have identified Saint-Etienne centre-half Saliba as too good a prospect to turn down despite their limited funds.
But Saliba is one of their main targets despite the difficulties posed by Saint-Etienne’s desperation to keep him for at least another season.
The London Evening Standard say the Gunners ‘are edging closer’ to striking a deal, having entered ‘advanced talks’ to sign the 18-year-old.
The fee is ‘yet to be finalised’ but should come to around £25m, with ‘the structure of proposed payments’ still ‘under discussion’.
Arsenal are willing to loan the player back for a season but will ask to make ‘a small initial payment’ as a result, ensuring ‘to keep the vast majority of their modest £40m transfer budget for other targets’.
‘There is growing confidence’ over the transfer, which would be Arsenal’s second of the summer.