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Tottenham Hotspurs look set to embarrass north London rivals Arsenal by beating them to the signing of St Etienne defender William Saliba, after agreeing to outbid the Gunners.
Arsenal were expecting to sign William Saliba from St Etienne with reports in France saying that the Gunners had already agreed terms with the 18-year-old Frenchman.
However, just as things were looking good for Unai Emery's second signing of the summer, following the transfer of Gabriel Martinelli, it looks like Spurs are going to jump ahead of their rivals.
According to RMC journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi whilst Arsenal had agreed terms with the player it's Spurs who have moved close to an agreement with the Ligue 1 side, tweeting, "Spurs# Tottenham have just outbid Arsenal # Arsenal for William. €30 million excluding bonuses, which goes above & beyond St Etienne's demands. Clubs are meeting tomorrow # Tottenham to discuss this situation!"
#Tottenham have just outbid #Arsenal for William #Saliba, offering €30m excluding bonuses, which goes above & beyond Sainté's demands. #ASSE are meeting tomorrow #Tottenham to discuss this situation !- Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 12, 2019
However it's not just about the money involved that has catapulted Spurs ahead of their local rivals in the chase but also the timing.
The Telegraph's Sam Dean reported that the offer had gone into the Ligue 1 side just after Arsenal executives and those involved in transfers were on a flight to the US for the club's tour.
On Saliba, I'm told that "many things are happening right now" re Tottenham's attempts to hijack the deal. Very uncertain how this pans out.- Sam Dean (@SamJDean) July 12, 2019
Surely not a coincidence that #THFC have made a move within hours of #AFC executives (Sanllehi, Venkatesham, Fahmy & Edu) all flying to US
Signing Saliba would have come after a tough week for the Gunners with captain and centre back Laurent Koscielny refusing to go on the team's pre season tour, as he tries to force a move back to France with Bordeaux.
Spurs transfer window is completely transformed compared to their two previous windows. Last summer and January the Premier League club failed to sign a single player.
This summer the Champions League finalists have already signed Jack Clarke from Leeds United, loaning him straight back, and beating competition from Europe's elite to get Tanguy Ndombele.
Will Mauricio Pochettino get his hands on a third signing and screw over Spurs local rivals in the same move?