Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to lodge a late offer for William Saliba and steal him under the noses of North London rivals Arsenal.
Arsenal’s move for William Saliba is far from reaching a conclusion as the Gunners are hoping to wrap up the transfer at the earliest. The Sun are reporting there could be late interest from Tottenham, as manager Mauricio Pochettino wants his club to make a move for the Saint-Etienne defender and steal a march on North London rivals Arsenal.
Arsenal are said to be close to reaching an agreement with French club Saint-Etienne for the transfer of Saliba. The Gunners have been chasing the 18-year-old all summer long, and things have looked favourable for the transfer to happen. The Gunners have already agreed on personal terms with Saliba in recent days, but Unai Emery’s side are yet to agree on a transfer fee with Saint-Etienne.
The report suggests, Pochettino has urged his side to make a quick offer for the defender and take matters in their hands. Saint-Etienne and Arsenal are haggling over the transfer fee, but Tottenham are ready to offer £30 million for Saliba. If that figure is accurate, then Arsenal could be set to lose out on the promising centre-back as Spurs would certainly trump them in the aspect of money.
Additionally, Spurs need a centre-back, one who is young and with immense talent. One of Spurs’ established central defender, Toby Alderweireld is reportedly set to leave the club with only one year remaining on his contract and Pochettino is hoping Saliba is the potential replacement for the Belgian star.
Pochettino wants Saliba with the view of developing the Frenchman alongside Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth next season. If that is the case, then Saliba could expect to get ample game time at Tottenham and play a vital role in the side’s progress next season. Moreover, Spurs can also offer Champions League football whereas Arsenal will be in the Europa League again.
If Saliba does join Tottenham, it could come as a big blow for Arsenal. Emery will then be forced to look elsewhere for a central defender, after having invested a lot of time in chasing Saliba.
PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe is being touted as a potential arrival at the Emirates, especially if Thomas Tuchel secures the signing of Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt in the coming days. Arsenal are also thought to be on the trails of Torino’s Armando Izzo as well as Borussia Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou for a transfer but are yet to make headway in either case.
Whatever happens in the next few days, it would be a colossal defeat for Arsenal if Saliba joins rivals Tottenham. More importantly, it’s the time spent chasing the defender that makes the case all the more haphazard. If Arsenal are unable to agree on a fee for the 18-year-old, then it would be Tottenham who would gain a great deal out of the entire exercise, as the player would have thrived at either club.