Tottenham plan to hijack deal from under fierce rivals' noses

William Saliba

Arsenal are closing in on a deal for Saint Etienne defender William Saliba worth around £25million, according to the Evening Standard.

Spurs have offered the same amount as Arsenal - €30m - but with better add-ons.

Saint-Etienne centre-back Saliba has been heavily linked with Arsenal this summer, with reports previously indicating that the 18-year-old was set to join the Gunners prior to being loaned back to the French side for the season.

Numerous sources across the European media have confirmed that Spurs have overtaken Arsenal in the race for Saint-Etienne's William Saliba.

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Reports emanating from France early last month confirmed that Arsenal were making serious inroads in their pursuit of the stopper, with the personal terms of a contract long-said to have been agreed between the parties.

Saliba, a France Under-20 worldwide, joined Saint-Etienne in 2016 and is one of the game's most highly-rated young centre-backs. Now, the offer from Spurs is seen as "more important", leaving Arsenal needing to react fast or miss out on Saliba altogether.

Bitter North London rivals Arsenal have had an agreement in principle with Les Verts since Monday over a €30m including bonuses deal, but talks had yet to be totally concluded as the Gunners tried to haggle over staggered instalment payments and bonus structures.

It is not clear yet whether, like Arsenal were planning to do, Spurs would loan Saliba back to Saint-Etienne next season, but it is certainly a move that would be met with delight by their supporters, who would dearly love to steal a player from right under the nose of Arsenal.

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