Arsenal and St. Ettiene have failed to reach an agreement on William Saliba’s extension that would have seen the Arsenal loanee play in the French Cup final scheduled to hold on July 24th against PSG. The 19-year-old centre-back, signed by Arsenal for a potential £27million last summer, spent the season on loan with the Ligue 1 side. Officially the deal reach its expiration on Tuesday, June 30th.
Earlier in the week Arsenal Head Coach, Mikel Arteta stated his preference for Saliba to play in the final given he has earned his place
He has earned his right to play that final if their manager wants to do that, So I think we have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that and we can have him after that.”
However, financial terms were not reached between both clubs and the deal seems to have fallen through. The statement released by St. Ettiene seems to indicate some measure of disappointment with how Arsenal handled the negotiations with their headline reading “William Saliba deprived of the final by Arsenal”. The complete statement by the club read
AS Saint-Étienne was pleased to learn yesterday Tuesday that Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach, was ready to leave William Saliba at the disposal of the club until the final of the Coupe de France, July 24 next. William Saliba had been training for several days with Claude Puel’s group and was obviously very enthusiastic about the idea of finishing his course in Green with such a match. Alas, ASSE, which simply wanted the extension of the initial loan until July 24, could not find an agreement in the evening with Arsenal to allow the defender to properly prepare and play this meeting, the English club imposing absolutely unacceptable sports and financial conditions.
Whilst the statement did not include what exactly were the financial agreement that made the deal breakdown, it is being reported that Saliba playing a 17th game for St. Ettiene would see Arsenal having to pay £2m based on the terms of the contract that saw him signed from there. Arsenal were unwilling to pay this given the season officially had ended at the deal officially closed on June 30th. Saliba is expected to return to England and join Arsenal. However, he is still expected to get a winners medal should St. Ettiene progress to win the final.
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