Spurs May Steal Wunderkind Right From Under Arsenal's Nose

It appears that Arsenal’s summer is going from bad to worse. The club has reportedly been working all transfer window on a deal with Saint-Etienne for 18 year-old center back William Saliba, a player with massive potential who would serve as a replacement for an aging and unhappy Laurent Koscielny.

Both clubs eventually reached a price they thought was fair, with Saliba set to move to Arsenal for $30 million. Saliba would then be immediately sent on loan to play with Saint-Etienne for the 2019-2020 season. Arsenal’s biggest rival, Tottenham Hotspur, threw a wrench in the Gunners’ plans, when it put in a cheeky bid of $33 million for Saliba at the last second this weekend, becoming the front-runners to land the talented youngster.

Arsenal has since matched Tottenham’s bid for the player, so it will likely be up to Saliba to decide who he wants to play for. While typically Tottenham would have the upper hand out of the two London clubs in this transfer window, as they can offer Champions League competition, in this case that leverage is moot, as Saliba will be spending the 2019-2020 season on loan at Saint-Etienne regardless of what team he signs for.  

Rumors seem to lean toward Saliba preferring Arsenal, but don’t be surprised if he moves to Tottenham, especially with Tottenham center back Toby Alderweireld set to move to Roma this summer in a deal worth up to $28 million.

Failing to secure Saliba would be a massive embarrassment for Arsenal, as it would validate claims that the club's reputation is declining and further signal that Tottenham is surpassing Arsenal in terms of global standing. Arsenal does have a silver lining though, as the other transfer rumors seem to be coming together:

While this is certainly promising, just keep in mind that we saw similar tweets about Saliba a week ago, and now look where we are.

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