Arsenal are on the verge of making their first signing of the summer in the form of 18-year-old centre back William Saliba.

The young defensive protege has been tracked by the Gunners for a number of months, though recent reports suggested they faced competition for his signature from north London rivals Tottenham.


But it appears that Arsenal will get their man, with ESPN reporting that a deal has been agreed that will see Saliba return to France on loan next season.

If an agreement has been reached, this signifies a change of heart from manager Unai Emery, who was initially reluctant to spend a significant portion of his £45m budget on a player who he'll be unable to call upon next season.

Personal terms have thought to have already been agreed with the player, with a medical the next step before confirmation of a final fee.

The youngster made 19 appearances for Saint-Etienne last season after breaking into their first team setup, demonstrating strength and considerable skill on the ball during his brief career to date.


Although not a household name, sealing his signature is a significant achievement on Arsenal's part as they've fended off competition from both likes Spurs and PSG - both of whom can offer Champions League football next season.

The Gunners summer spending may not stop there, though, with their defence in need of further overhauling. Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny have been tipped for a summer exit this summer, while Nacho Monreal is out-of-contract this summer.

One man who could arrive at the Emirates Stadium with the ability to actually play is Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney - though his valuation may prove difficult to match.