Arsenal identify Saint-Etienne teenager as top defensive target – report

Wiliam Saliba

Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba is a major target for Arsenal in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

The teenager has impressed in a breakthrough season in Ligue 1, making 17 appearances to help the club to a fourth-place finish.

Goal reports that the centre-back’s name is towards the top of the Gunners’ summer wish list as Unai Emery looks to strengthen his backline ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

The Premier League club have regularly sent scouts to watch Saliba in action this season and they have been impressed by the 18-year-old.

He was watched again by Arsenal representatives as Saint-Etienne beat Nice 3-0 at home on Saturday in their penultimate game of the league season.

However, the 6ft 4in defender signed a new four-year contract just last month and could command a transfer fee of around £25 million as interest grows from clubs around Europe.

Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in the past, with former Old Trafford boss Jose Mourinho saying that Saliba "has everything needed to become a good player, much like Kurt Zouma”.

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