After failing to secure a loan extension for defender William Saliba, Saint-Etienne slammed Arsenal for “imposing unacceptable sports and financial conditions.”
The Frenchman spent the season with the Ligue 1 club after last summer’s Gunners purchased the teenager for £ 27 million ($33 million) just to loan him back to Saint-Etienne.
While the season of Ligue 1 was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic, on July 24, Saint-Etienne will face Paris Saint-Germain at the Coupe de France.
Thus, Claude Puel ‘s side hoped to retain Saliba ‘s services for a little longer with his loan due to expire at the end of June, however despite initial optimism they were unable to reach an agreement with Arsenal.
The club release read: “Saint-Etienne was pleased to hear yesterday Tuesday that Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta was able to leave William Saliba at the club’s disposal before the Coupe de France finale. William Saliba had been training with Claude Puel ‘s party for several days and was naturally very excited about the possibility of completing his course with such a match in Green. Alas, ASSE, which simply wanted the initial loan to be extended until 24 July, could not find an agreement in the evening with Arsenal to allow the defender to properly prepare and play this meeting, the English club imposing unacceptable sports and financial conditions.”
Arteta searched for cool hopes on Tuesday around Saliba and indicated that Saliba had won the right to play in next month’s Coupe de France decision-maker.
“We have an arrangement with Saint-Etienne, I think he wants to live there,” Arteta said.
Across all competitions this season, Saliba was limited to just 15 games, with two major injuries restricting his playing time.
In 17th season Saint-Etienne finished the shortened Ligue 1 season, only two places shy of relegation to Ligue 2, and hasn’t won a trophy since the 2013 Coupe de la Ligue.