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Arsenal andapos;surprisedandapos; William Saliba deal broke down and hit back at Saint-Etienne claims

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Arsenal have claimed Saint-Etienne were reluctant to follow their "clear training plan" in order to secure an extension to the loan deal for William Saliba.

Talks between the clubs collapsed late on Tuesday as they attempted to negotiate a deal that would keep Saliba at the French club for the Coupe de France final against Paris-Saint Germain on July 24.

The Ligue 1 club claimed Arsenal were "imposing absolutely unacceptable financial conditions" in a statement last night, but the Gunners hit back on Wednesday morning.

Arsenal stated that their primary concern was Saliba's recovery from a recent injury,.

An Arsenal statement said: “Throughout our discussions with St Etienne, our aim has been to protect the welfare of William Saliba as well as the interests of Arsenal Football Club, while honouring the terms of the loan.

Read more Saliba returns to Arsenal after talks with Saint-Etienne collapse

"Despite the loan ending on June 30, we were willing to find a way for William to play in the [French] cup final on July 24, despite having no contractual obligation to do so.

"As William is returning from injury, we asked that St Etienne follow a clear training plan with William in close collaboration with us, to ensure he is fully fit for the start of next season.

"To our surprise we were unable to reach agreement to this plan which was proposed by our medical experts, and we are simply not prepared to risk the welfare of an Arsenal player.

"While it was not our primary concern, and ultimately not relevant as our training plan was not accepted, we also expected not to be financially disadvantaged by extending the loan. This was also not acceptable to St Etienne.

"We know this is a disappointment for William but he understands we are working to protect his long-term interests and those of Arsenal.”

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