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Saint-Etienne SLAM Arsenal for ‘completely unacceptable’ U-turn over William Saliba

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Saint-Etienne have issued a scathing statement slamming Arsenal for their U-turn over on-loan defender William Saliba which means he will be unable to play in the French Cup final.

Arsenal bought the 19-year-old centre back from Saint-Etienne last summer before loaning him back for the season, and he is set to join back up with Mikel Arteta’s side in the coming weeks. 

Although the French league season was cancelled due to coronavirus, Saint-Etienne still have one final match against PSG in the French Cup final – a game which would have been Saliba’s last after four years at the club.

William Saliba was bought by Arsenal last year but has spent season back with Saint-Etienne

William Saliba was bought by Arsenal last year but has spent season back with Saint-Etienne

William Saliba was bought by Arsenal last year but has spent season back with Saint-Etienne

The 19-year-old cost £27m and will now head back to north London to train with Arsena

The 19-year-old cost £27m and will now head back to north London to train with Arsena

The 19-year-old cost £27m and will now head back to north London to train with Arsena 

But it seems Arsenal have stamped out any chance of allowing him to play one last game after the two clubs were unable to agree a deal that allows him to stay beyond the end of his current deal, which has now expired.

In a damning statement on their website, titled ‘William Saliba deprived of the final by Arsenal’, Saint-Etienne explained their side of the story.   

‘AS Saint-Etienne was pleased to learn yesterday (Tuesday) that Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach, was ready to leave William Saliba at the disposal of the club until the final of the Coupe de France, on July 24,’ it explains.

‘William Saliba had been training for several days with Claude Puel’s group and was obviously very enthusiastic about the idea of ​​finishing his course in Green with such a match. 

Arsenal have failed to reach an agreement with Saint-Etienne to allow him to play in cup final

Arsenal have failed to reach an agreement with Saint-Etienne to allow him to play in cup final

Arsenal have failed to reach an agreement with Saint-Etienne to allow him to play in cup final 

Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel will be without one of his biggest talents for season finale

Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel will be without one of his biggest talents for season finale

Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel will be without one of his biggest talents for season finale

‘Alas, ASSE, which simply wanted the extension of the initial loan until July 24, 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 absolutely unacceptable sports and financial conditions.’

It now appears Saliba will have to travel back to north London without playing a part in the season finale at Saint-Etienne in the latter stages of July.

The Frenchman cost Arsenal £27million last summer, and he played 15 times on loan at Saint-Etienne this season before coronavirus curtailed the campaign.

Mikel Arteta had previously stated that he was happy for Saliba to play in the French Cup final

Mikel Arteta had previously stated that he was happy for Saliba to play in the French Cup final

Mikel Arteta had previously stated that he was happy for Saliba to play in the French Cup final

Arteta was asked last week about Saliba playing in the French Cup, and it appeared he had no problem with the youngster lining up against PSG.  

‘He has earned his right to play that final if their manager wants to do that,’ the Spaniard said.

‘So I think we have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that and we can have him after that.’

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Solskjaer reveals how kind-hearted Bruno Fernandes shook EVERY Man Utd staff member hand when he sealed transfer

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OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER knew he had signed the perfect player in Bruno Fernandes when he shook the hands of every member of staff after joining the club.

The Portuguese international has transformed the Red Devils since completing his £47million switch from Sporting Lisbon in January.

Solskjaer is hugely impressed with Fernandes' character off the pitch

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Solskjaer is hugely impressed with Fernandes’ character off the pitchCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Fernandes, who has yet to taste defeat for United, has bagged an impressive seven goals and six assists to catapult his side into Champions League contention.



And while he has been a star on the pitch, Solskjaer revealed how his true character shone through after he put pen-to-paper on his contract.

The Norwegian told the High Performance Podcast: “It was off the field as well as in training.

“He demands off me. He demands off his team-mates. The first day he was in the club, he shook everyone’s hand.

“He didn’t come in here thinking, ‘I’m the big shot.’ No, he shook absolutely every staff members’ hand.

“And, of course, this is a family – Man United – we’ve always been a family, and Sir Alex (Ferguson), the way he’s created this atmosphere in this dressing room, in this training ground, I think it’s unique.”

He didn’t come in here thinking, ‘I’m the big shot.’

Solskjaer on Fernandes

Talking about his performances, Solskjaer continued: “He’s got the talent of course, you can see the quality is there.

“And we’ve seen that for a long time, but then again, he steps up when it matters.

“He’s delivered crosses, he’s delivered assists, he’s scored goals, he takes penalties.

“He’s done everything in a short space of time that you’d expect.”

Solskjaer revealed the processes that the club goes through to ensure they have signed a player who can contribute both on and off the field.

And one of those ways is to monitor social media accounts to cast an eye over their lifestyles.

He added: “Harry Maguire, for example, you follow him, you’ve watched his Instagram account, you watch Twitter, you watch what kind of personalities they are.

“You go back to the scout that scouted him when it was 15, 16.

“Of course they’d spoken to them, and we just know more or less everything we need to know about the personality.

“You can’t do that all the time. Sometimes you have to take the hunch.

“You watch him and you say, well, rainy day at Stoke, he steps up, he’s a winner.

“Or he picked up the ball and gave it to the player, or he’s respectful when off the pitch he shakes everyone’s hand or… those little things.

“You’re looking at human qualities as well.”

Bruno Fernandes has been a star on and off the field

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Bruno Fernandes has been a star on and off the fieldCredit: AFP

Fernandes’ journey from Sporting to Manchester is similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s so it will be no surprise that Solskjaer received the recommendation from the Juventus forward himself.

Solskjaer said: “So obviously Cristiano was an easy goal for me that I managed to get through.

“Through Patrice Evra, I managed to get hold of Cristiano and his recommendation obviously stood him (Fernandes) in good stead.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man United ‘could have scored 3,4,5 more’ vs Aston Villa but heaps praise on goalscorer Mason Greenwood

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6.30pm Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Jovic ‘to partner Werner’, Henderson shock offer, Kante ‘can leave’, Havertz LATEST

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CHELSEA will have to be at their best for their final three matches after discovering only the top four will make next season’s Champions League.

It had been the case that fifth would have been enough, but Man City have won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport meaning only the top four will now qualify.

Follow all the latest transfer gossip and updates below….

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Bayern Munich ‘eyeing shock move for out-of-favour Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’

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Bayern Munich are preparing to make moves for French midfielders Tanguy Ndombele and Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to reports in France.

Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez are reportedly readying themselves for a departure from the Allianz Arena this summer, with the former strongly linked with a move to Liverpool

Fellow central midfielder Corentin Tolisso – who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United in the last few months – is also expected to leave the Bundesliga champions and boss Hansi Flick is therefore seeking reinforcements in that area. 

Bayern Munich are preparing a bid for Tottenham's out-of-favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

Bayern Munich are preparing a bid for Tottenham's out-of-favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

Bayern Munich are preparing a bid for Tottenham’s out-of-favour midfielder Tanguy Ndombele

The Bundesliga champions are also keeping an eye on Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko

The Bundesliga champions are also keeping an eye on Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko

The Bundesliga champions are also keeping an eye on Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko

According to Le10Sport, that search has led the Bavarians to exploring the possibility of bringing midfielders Ndombele and Bakayoko – currently owned by Tottenham and Chelsea – to fill the gaps.

Bakayoko re-joined former club Monaco last summer on a season-long loan after failing to impress Blues boss Frank Lampard in pre-season, and has not played for the Stamford Bridge side since their 2018 FA Cup final victory against Manchester United.

The one-cap French international – who is also said to be interesting Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan – spent last season on loan at the Serie A side.

An option to buy of £38million was agreed with Monaco last season as part of the loan deal, but even despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chelsea are still believed to be hoping to secure around £31.5m for his signature.

Bayern expect to see Spanish midfielder Thiago depart the Allianz Arena this summer

Bayern expect to see Spanish midfielder Thiago depart the Allianz Arena this summer

Bayern expect to see Spanish midfielder Thiago depart the Allianz Arena this summer

Fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez is also another player Bayern expect to move on in the summer

Fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez is also another player Bayern expect to move on in the summer

Fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez is also another player Bayern expect to move on in the summer

The report adds that a deal for Spurs’ record signing Ndombele may be more difficult to strike.

The 23-year-old joined Tottenham for £53m from Lyon last summer but has fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho.

However, given the club’s financial difficulties following the coronavirus outbreak, Spurs would hope to recoup much of the £65m fee shelled out for him last summer.

Bayern would be unlikely to match this figure, but the German giants may reportedly look to a compromising loan deal which they agreed in order to secure previous deals for James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho.

Frenchman Corentin Tolisso has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently

Frenchman Corentin Tolisso has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently

Frenchman Corentin Tolisso has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently

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