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Arsenal lead race to sign £17m star as Arteta begins squad overhaul

Arsenal are leading the race to sign Albert Sambi Lokonga with Anderlecht prepared to sell the youngster for £17.2m this summer, according to reports

Albert Sambi Lokonga

Arsenal are leading the race to sign Albert Sambi Lokonga with Anderlecht prepared to sell the youngster for just £17.2m this summer, according to report via TeamTalk.

Mikel Arteta is expected to be busy in the transfer market over the coming weeks as he looks to build a squad capable of pushing for the top four next season after the Gunners finished way down in eighth place during the last campaign.

Midfield is going to be an area of concern as Granit Xhaka is set to seal a move to Italy while Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Real Madrid following their loan spells. Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Matteo Guendouzi are also expected to leave Arsenal so Arteta is in the market for midfield reinforcements.

Several names have been linked with a move to the Emirates recently but Lokonga has emerged as a prime target and TeamTalk are citing a report from Sudinfo that claims Arsenal are leading the race to sign the 21-year-old.

While the likes of Monaco, Sevilla and Bayer Leverkusen are also understood to be keen on Lokonga, it’s Arsenal who’re seen as the most serious suitor and the Belgian outlet suggests that Anderlecht are willing to sell for £17.2m this summer.

According to Sudinfo, the Belgian giants are already in advanced talks to sign Fausto Vera as a direct replacement and will allow Lokonga to leave once a deal for the Argentinean is confirmed.

The young midfielder is currently training with the Belgium squad ahead of Euro 2020 and coach Thierry Henry is reportedly talking up the club to Lokonga with Sudinfo suggesting the Gunners legend has been a key figure in helping Arsenal move into pole position for his signature.

Lokonga has been at Anderlecht his entire career having come through the clubs youth system and is regarded as one of the most gifted young talents in Belgian football so he’d be an exciting long-term signing if Arsenal could get a deal done.

The 6ft midfielder is known for his athleticism and for being an excellent ball carrier so he’s probably being viewed as a back-up for Thomas Partey rather than as a direct replacement for Xhaka.

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