As reported earlier, Arsenal and St Etienne failed to reach an agreement on defender William Saliba’s use in the French Cup final scheduled to take place on July 26th. Saliba has been training with Arsenal squad since the arrangement expired but he has been unable to play as he was not registered for this Premier League campaign. Officially the last day any kind of agreement to be reached was Thursday 9th July at midnight. The transfer window in France is expected to be shut for a month.
With no announcement of an agreement yesterday from both clubs, it seems there is very little chance of William Saliba joining his former colleagues for the game.
Speaking to the media this week, Mikel Arteta explained that Arsenal and Saint-Etienne are still in talks over William Saliba.
“The clubs are dealing with the situation,” Arteta said. “You know what happened in the last few days, I prefer to stay away from that. Hopefully, they find a good agreement on the situation in good terms that helps the player as well.”
Negotiations initially broke down over disagreements on what Arsenal would owe for the loan extension and the training plan to be adopted by William Saliba. Arsenal wanted the defender to return to the club and spend ten days undergoing assessment and training, however St. Ettiene were not open to such as it would create an imbalance in their preparations for the game. If Arsenal merely extended the loan on its original terms and Saliba started in the final, the Gunners would owe Saint-Etienne €2.5m due to a bonus clause in his contract.
Arsenal are contractually under no obligation to discuss with St. Ettiene however the emotional aspect of handling the desires of Willaim Saliba would prefer to play in the game led the team to have further conversations. Given the seeming lack of headway between both clubs, William Saliba can focus on his Arsenal training regime and getting ready to play for Arsenal next season.
We wish St. Ettiene the best in the finals. Hopefully, they win and Saliba gets his medal.