However, they could not hammer out an agreement with the club, and released a statement that read: "William Saliba had been training for several days with Claude Puel's group and was obviously very enthusiastic about the idea of finishing his time in green with such a match.
"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."
But Arsenal hit back with a statement of their own, hinting that they were being asked to make a financial payment. It transpires that if Saliba starts 17 matches in all competitions in the 2019/20 season, they will need to pay an extra €2.5 million in addition to his original transfer fee.
Currently, he has 16 appearances under his belt - so the Gunners asked for that clause to be cancelled.
"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," the club said.
"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 Saint-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.”