Arsenal have reached an agreement with AS Saint Étienne for defender William Saliba to play in the upcoming French Cup final.
Saliba joined the Gunners last summer but has spent the season on loan with the French side so he can continue his development.
That has happened to some extent, with him featuring on a semi-regular basis as injuries have limited his availability for much of the campaign.
With the French season now over, he has returned to Arsenal, but Saint Étienne were keen to have him for the upcoming clash with Paris Saint-Germain on July 23rd.
The Gunners, however, were resistant to this as part of the original agreements stated that if Saliba were to play in a third of the French side’s games this season, then Arsenal would have to pay another €2.5m.
Thus, Saliba has been at Arsenal ever since and looked likely to miss out on short return as the two clubs couldn’t agree.
L’Equipe cover the situation today and explain that has now changed. After ‘several weeks’ of discussions it looked like there would be no agreement over the player.
The two clubs ‘blamed each other’ for the failure to reach some sort of deal, but ‘against all odds’, they decided to resume ‘exchanges’ in ‘recent hours’.
They aimed to work something out so he could play in the final and they have achieved that, although there are still ‘some points to be settled.’
The newspaper says Arsenal elected to change their stance after witnessing Saliba’s ‘melancholy’ at missing the final first hand and so he is set to return to Saint Étienne’s training ground, l’Étrat, before Friday.
The French side, for their part, are expected to ‘forego’ the €2.5m they had been due as part of the original deal to make his return happen.