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Arsenal beat Spurs to Saliba signing

Arsenal have won the race to sign William Saliba from Saint Etienne.

The Gunners have been closely linked with a move for the 18-year old defender all summer and appeared close to sealing a deal for the player last week. However, Spurs came in with an improved offer for Saliba, timed as Arsenal management were boarding the plane that took them to the United States for their pre-season tour.

That appeared to tip the balance in favour of the white half of North London, but with the player himself preferring to join Arsenal, the Gunners came back with an improved offer that has finally proved decisive.

Arsenal will pay an initial £29.8 million (€33 million) fee, plus a further £6.3 million in add-ons (€7 million), although the money, given the limited transfer budget available to Una Emery this summer, will be paid in instalments. To sweeten the deal for Galiba, who will spend next season on loan back at Saint-Etienne, the French club will also benefit from a 20% sell-on clause.

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