France under-19 defender William Saliba is set to join Arsenal in a deal worth €30 million despite late interest from Tottenham but will be loaned back to Saint. Etienne, sources have told ESPN FC.
Arsenal appeared to have beaten competition for the 18-year-old centre-back. However, a late bid from Spurs put the move in doubt.
But, eventually, Saliba chose Arsenal over their North London rivals because he is attracted to the project at Emirates and will sign a five-year contract.
Just minor details need to be finalised before the deal becomes official, with Arsenal's presence in Los Angeles for the International Champions Cup preseason tournament complicating matters.
Since joining the Saint-Etienne academy in 2016, he has represented France in every age group and was part of the squad at the U20 European championships this summer.
On Wednesday, Arsenal boss Unai Emery said his target would target "very big, very expensive" players in the transfer market.