Arsenal sign Saliba on long-term deal from St Etienne

Arsenal have announced the signing of William Saliba from St Etienne on a long-term contract.

The 18-year-old defender will spend next season on loan at the Ligue 1 club before linking up with the Gunners next summer.

Saliba was the second deal confirmed in the space of two hours by the Premier League club after the capture of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on a season-long loan.

Arsenal are believed to have been interested in the teenager for some time and but finally landed their man for a fee reported to be in the region of £27million.

‘Highly-rated French defender William Saliba is joining us from Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne on a long-term contract,’ the club announced on their official website.

‘The much sought after centre-half will spend a season back on loan at St Etienne before joining our squad next summer.’

Head coach Unai Emery added: ‘We’re delighted William is joining us. Many teams wanted him but he decided he wanted to come to us and be part of our future.

‘He will stay in France next season for more experience and then we look forward to him joining our group.’