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Saint-Etienne boss hopeful of having William Saliba for Coupe de France final

Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel is hopeful that the club can agree to a short-term extension on William Saliba’s loan contract such that he can feature in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain next month.

The French outfit sanctioned the permanent sale of the centre-back to Arsenal during the 2019 summer transfer window, but they ensured that he was re-signed on a season-long loan deal as part of the agreement.

Saliba has been a regular at the heart of the club’s defence over the course of the season and it is uncertain whether he will stay beyond June 30 when his temporary contract expires.

The Ligue 1 club have yet to reach an agreement over an extension over the loan deal, but Puel is optimistic about the club’s prospects of keeping hold of Saliba until Coupe de France final on July 24.

“William is at the end of his contract at the end of the month. He takes great pleasure in training with his team. We will see what can be done to keep him a little longer with us,” he told in a press conference.

The Ligue 1 season was curtailed in late April in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Saint-Etienne finished in a disappointing 17th spot with just 30 points from 28 matches.

Les Verts will contest the Cup final next month after a break of more than four months, but Puel will find himself working with a depleted squad due to different circumstances.

Aside from the uncertainty over Saliba’s position, Puel will have to deal with the absence of Timothee Kolodziejczak and Mahdi Camara, who are due to serve one-game domestic suspensions.

Meanwhile, the club have yet to sort out the futures of experienced French duo Yohan Cabaye and Loic Perrin, whose contracts expire at the end of the current month.

Perrin has captained Saint-Etienne for most of the campaign while operating in a back three alongside Saliba and Wesley Fofana and he would be a huge miss, suppose he declines to sign a short-term extension.

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