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Manchester United wants William Saliba

Manchester United and Arsenal battling to sign William Saliba. [Image: AP]

Arsenal will lock horn with Manchester United over the signing of William Saliba

Saliba, 18, has had an outstanding debut season for Saint Etienne, making 17 appearances since breaking into Jean-Louis Gasset’s first-team, and the defender’s accomplished performances have caught the attention of the Premier League’s elite.

According to ‘Le 10 sport’ Manchester United are prepared to pay almost 30 million euros for William Saliba, and will aim to sign him from the Ligue 1 side.

Saint Etienne are hoping the young French defender will stay for at least one more season, but they are aware that it is likely that it will be difficult to keep him if the big clubs come swooping in for him.

The teenager, who is also capable of playing at right-back, is a French youth international and has won three caps for the Under-19s.

United are looking to reshape their defensive unit in order to make a serious title bid next season.

Jose Mourinho showered Saliba with praise last week amid rumours that his former club, United, were interested in the France Under-19 international.

‘I think he has everything needed to become a good player, much like Kurt Zouma, who I signed,’ Mourinho said.

Speaking about his contract extension, Saliba said: ‘I am very happy to extend my adventure with Saint-Etienne, the club where I came up from as a youngster. ‘I want to thank all my youth coaches and everyone who has contributed to my progression at this club.’

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