Arsenal and St Etienne are at loggerheads currently over a deal to allow William Saliba to return to his former club to play in the final of the Coupe de France.
The defender joined our club last summer in a deal which included a season-long loan with his former club, but that has now been completed.
The French league was cut short in March following the Coronavirus pandemic, with Paris Saint-Germain crowned champions despite playing only 27 of the 38 fixtures.
The French Cup is scheduled to be completed now though, with July 24 scheduled in for the tie, and William Saliba is believed to be keen to play his part for St Etienne, in hope of helping his side win their first trophy in seven years.
Arsenal are said to have asked his former club to waive the €2.5 Million bonus that they would be due for his participation in the final, as well as making training demands for their new acquisition, but the Saints have so far turned down the deal.
Talks can still take place, but the deal will need to be sorted out by next Thursday according to L’Equipe if he is to be registered to play in the final, but are Arsenal wrong to make such demands?
No club is believed to have profited from the Coronavirus pandemic, and finances of our club are believed to have taken quite a hit with a loss in matchday income amongst the biggest issues.
St Etienne could argue that Arsenal should pay the bonus for his role played in helping them reach the final, which should have already taken place, and may be angered by the stance taken by the club.
On the other hand, why would our side literally pay the bonus and allow their player to participate in the final when he could be in-and-around our current squad preparing for the new season, or resting ahead of the new campaign.
I can understand both perspectives, and the player himself will most likely be keen to try and win his first piece of silverware since stepping up to the senior side, but while morally St Etienne may have a point, reality says that it would make no sense for Arsenal to pay that fee for Saliba to play in the match-up.
Are Arsenal right to ask for the fee to be waived? Would it aid Saliba’s development by playing in the final?