As confirmed by Ligue 1 side St Étienne via an official communiqué on Tuesday morning, 19-year-old William Saliba did not get his desired return to the club on loan from Arsenal in the final hours of the window, despite an initial agreement being reached.
L’Équipe report that Arsenal had wanted to send the French defender on loan to Fulham, but they ended up opting for Lyon defender Joachim Andersen instead.
Saliba, who was signed by Arsenal for €25m plus €5m in bonuses, is not being used by Mikel Arteta, wanted to return to St Étienne on loan. Talks were difficult, as the relationship between both boards is very poor, following the Coupe de France final fiasco.
ASSE’s statement about why the deal fell through is as follows:
“Well before the closure of the transfer window, St Étienne had concluded an agreement with William Saliba and accepted the offer from Arsenal for a season-long loan. Alas, all the administrative details were not done in time, in England, to finalise the deal. The disappointment is large for St Étienne and William Saliba, particularly determined to come back to the club where he was happy.”