Arsenal insist St Etienne at fault for Saliba loan collapse

William Saliba of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 22, 2020 in St Albans, England.

Arsenal insist they are not responsible for the breakdown of the deal that would have seen William Saliba rejoin St Etienne on a season-long loan on Deadline Day.

The two clubs reached an agreement on Monday for the 19-year-old defender to return to the Ligue 1 club on loan for a second successive season, after he made a permanent switch to the Gunners in a £ 27 m deal last summer.

St Etienne claim they agreed a Deadline Day deal for Saliba to return and spend a second successive season on loan but Arsenal could not finalise the paperwork ahead of the deadline.

"Long before the transfer window closed, AS Saint-Etienne had reached an agreement with William Saliba and accepted Arsenal's offer for a season-long loan," a club statement said on Tuesday morning.

"Unfortunately, all the administrative conditions could not be met in time, in England, for the finalization of the file.

"There is a great disappointment for ASSE and William Saliba, who was particularly determined to return to the club where he had flourished."

However, Arsenal have distanced themselves from the claims and believe they did everything they were required to do, and in good time.

The north London club believe the deal was ready to be finalised, and as the receiving club, St Etienne were required to submit registration details first - but never did.

Mikel Arteta's side went on to secure the signing of Thomas Partey on a four-year deal after triggering the £45 m release clause of the former Atletico Madrid midfielder on Monday.

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