Manchester United are reportedly interested in young French defender William Saliba and are ready to splash €30 million to land the AS Saint-Etienne star.
According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Manchester United are showing interest in William Saliba. The young French centre-back is on the radar of several top European clubs. But, the Red Devils have been credited with serious interest in the AS Saint-Etienne defender.
The report iterates that Saint-Etienne have made peace with the fact that Saliba is a wanted quantity and they are unlikely to be able to hold on to the 18-year-old for long. The French club have therefore, set their own demands for potential and actual suitors.
Saint-Etienne have slapped a €30 million price tag on Saliba and have an additional demand that the centre-back be loaned back to the club for at least one season, which means they intend to retain Saliba for the 2019-20 season, albeit via a loan-back agreement.
Bondy-born Saliba has been at Saint-Etienne since 2016 and was interestingly trained by the father of Kylian Mbappe during his schoolboy days. 2018-19 has been a welcome season for Saliba, who has broken into the first-team setup and is now a regular part of the matchday squads.
10 league appearances under his belt so far this season, the Ligue 1 youngster is now drawing interest from one of the top clubs in Europe and the footballing world – Manchester United.
The Red Devils have a handful of options at centre-back. But, Victor Lindelof is the only one who seems safe from being axed in the summer, as far as the first-team is concerned. Among the promising centre-backs in the academy, Ro-Shaun Williams has already bid adieu while Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been bred more like a right-back in the past couple of years.
Axel Tuanzebe is a promising youngster but is the only true option left. Manchester United would love to add some quality future options at centre-back and have already expressed interest in 21-year-old Ben Godfrey recently.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) March 26, 2019
The report states that Manchester United have made it aware that there is a possibility of them moving to sign Saliba in the summer. Now, with Saint-Etienne’s demands set, the Red Devils’ confusion might be eased.
While €30 million might be a steep price to pay for an 18-year-old, the current market has seen youngsters go for much higher recently. Also, the promise of a loan-back would ensure Saliba receives first-team football in the French top-tier for one full season before he is ready to challenge for spots at Old Trafford.
The move seems like a good investment for Manchester United.