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Updates4Real 06/25/2020

Saint-Etienne boss issues plea to Arsenal over short-term William Saliba deal

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Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel says he hopes to have William Saliba available for the Coupe de France final, despite the defender’s deal coming to an end before their clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Saliba completed a £27million move to Arsenal last summer but the 19-year-old centre-back was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019/20 campaign.

The impact of the coronavirus crisis on French football means Saliba’s temporary agreement ceases before the cup final which is scheduled to take place on July 24.

There are just five days remaining on Saliba’s deal as it stands but it’s clear Saint-Etienne have plans to field the youngster against PSG, with Puel issuing a plea to Arsenal to allow the youngster to take part given the exceptional circumstances.

Puel is desperate to have his key players available for the match considering a victory would secure their place in next season’s Europa League.

‘William is at the end of his contract at the end of the month,’ the Saint-Etienne head coach said at his press conference on Wednesday.

‘He takes great pleasure in training with his team.

‘We will see what can be done to keep him a little longer with us.’

Puel added: ‘We ended last season with players who were coming to the end of the contract, with players who were suspended during the season and who could not serve their suspensions.

‘I think it’s unfortunate that we did not take into consideration an exceptional case with a four-month gap.

‘They will be deprived of the finals and we will be deprived of them.

‘We also have players at the end of the contract, we will take stock. Loic Perrin is with us and may have this possibility of extending.

‘We made an offer to Yohan Cabaye, we await the answer.’

Speaking to talkSPORT earlier this month, Martin Keown questioned Arsenal’s decision to send Saliba back to Saint-Etienne last summer.

‘There’s an awful lot of work to be done in there in defence,’ the ex-Arsenal centre-half said.

‘There was the defender from Saint-Etienne, William Saliba, who they paid £27m for but was loaned back again.

‘I could’t quite work that out because now I’m being told he’s world-class.

‘Never mind if he’s world-class, if he was Premier League class it would have been good enough because that was an area of concern.’

The youngster was being touted as a possible replacement for David Luiz but the Brazil international put an end to the uncertainty around his future this week by putting pen to paper on a one-year extension at the Emirates.

Saliba will also have to compete with Pablo Mari for a place in central defence after the Spaniard signed a permanent deal with the Gunners.

Arsenal were set to offer transfer target £250,000-a-week deal before pandemic hit

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According to Elgoldigital, Atletico Madrid have made an opening bid for reported Liverpool target Ferran Torres.

The Valencia wide man has been heavily linked with a summer exit.

Torres, who has an £88 million release clause, has just one year remaining on his current deal at Valencia and has turned down offers of a renewal.

Valencia may be in a position where they must cash in on their prized asset.

Elgoldigital claim Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester City are among top teams keen. However, Atletico Madrid are the first to make a push for the player.

Diego Simeone’s side have reportedly launched an opening £45 million bid. Atleti hope to raise the cash by selling a few out of favour players.

Torres is widely regarded as one of the best young players in La Liga.

The Spain U21 international can play on either flank. He has six goals and six assists in all competitions for Valencia this season.

• Reported Liverpool target compared to Cruyff, ex-president says his exit would be a disaster

Premier League leaders Liverpool may have been looking at him as ideal competition in the final third.

The Reds arguably have the best front three in Europe in Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. However, beyond those three, there is room for improvement.

Torres, 20, is hugely popular at Valencia. Manager Albert Caledas recently told Superdeporte how the youngster is a fabulous player with magnificent ability.

But, it appears his time at the Mestalla is coming to an end.

If Liverpool are serious in their interest, then Jurgen Klopp’s side must act swiftly as Atletico Madrid appear intent on securing his signature this summer.

Photo: £27m Emirates-bound loanee spotted in training, but not for Arsenal

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Arsenal fans thought they were getting William Saliba back in North London.

The 19-year-old joined the Gunners for £27 million last summer but was immediately loaned back to former club Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign.

But with the Ligue 1 season cancelled as long ago as April, Arsenal supporters thought they’d be getting their highly-rated central defender back.

That being said, Saliba hasn’t even left the French club yet, it turns out.

Training pictures on Thursday appeared to show the teenage centre-back – whose loan doesn’t technically end until June 30 – doing some gym work.

Football London reported earlier this month that even when Saliba gets to London Colney, there’s a zero percent chance of him representing Arsenal this season.

Mikel Arteta badly needs centre-back options – well, good ones anyway.

The Spaniard has been making do with the likes of David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi since taking the reins at his former club back in December.

But long term, Arsenal have a brilliant prospect in Saliba and it’ll be fascinating to see how he fares next season and beyond.

Arsenal fullback Tierney dismisses Leicester talk

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Arsenal fullback Kieran Tierney has cooled talk of leaving this summer.

The Scotland international has been linked with Leicester City.

"It's been so good, the understanding he has of the game and how he wants to play has been amazing," Tierney told Premier League Productions.

“I feel as if I'm learning every single day. I'm adapting to his game plan and buying into it so much.

“It's so enjoyable to train and play. Hopefully we can improve results now, it's not going to happen overnight but we're working towards something big. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

“He (Arteta) is very demanding and training is intense. You know when you go in it's going to be an intense session and you're going to cover a lot of tactical work."

Source: opera.com
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