The centre-back has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer after impressing for the Ligue 1 side last season.
A deal thought to be worth £25 million is yet to be finalised, but negotiations are at an advanced stage according to the Evening Standard.
The last detail that must be ironed out is the payment structure, as one of the sticking points is Saint-Etienne’s request that Saliba returns to them on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.
Gunners boss Unai Emery wants the 18-year-old to join his first-team squad immediately, but he could accept the French club’s demands to ensure they complete the capture of a highly-rated prospect.
Saint-Etienne president Roland Romeyer has insisted it is the wish of the player, as well as his club, that he stays in France for another year.
This means Arsenal are looking to pay only a small fee this summer, given that Saliba will not be immediately available, saving precious cash from their modest transfer kitty of a reported £45 million.
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