It is understood that Arsenal are negotiating a deal which would see the 18-year-old loaned straight back to the Ligue 1 side next season, with the defender joining Arsenal’s squad for the beginning of the 2020/21 season.
That deal would help ease the strain on the Gunners transfer budget this summer as they look to get transfers for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, and Celtic defender Kieran Tierney over the line.
Saint Etienne president Roland Romeyer said last week that the defender would be staying in Ligue 1 for another season.
“He will stay at the club this season,” he said.
“It is an imperative condition should we come to an agreement for his transfer. It’s also William’s wish.”