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Reports – Player expected to complete £18m move to Arsenal this week

Albert Lokonga is expected to join Arsenal for around £18m this week after not going on Anderlecht’s pre-season training camp

Albert Sambi Lokonga

Albert Lokonga has not travelled with the Anderlecht squad for their pre-season training camp as he’s expected to complete a move to Arsenal this week, according to reports from Belgium.

Mikel Arteta is busy trying to overhaul his squad this summer following a disastrous campaign that saw Arsenal finish eighth in the Premier League table and miss out on European qualification for the first time in 25 years.

There is expected to be several changes in midfield as Granit Xhaka is tipped for a move to Italy while Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Real Madrid after their loan spells came to an end.

Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are also likely to depart so Arteta needs to bring in at least two midfielders and Lokonga has been strongly linked with the Gunners in recent weeks.

Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad reported late last month that Arsenal had offered to pay £12m [€14m] up front plus £2.5m [€3m] in bonuses for Lokonga’s signature but that offer was rejected by Anderlecht.

Negotiations have continued and it appears there is confidence that a deal is finally close to being agreed as La Derniere Heure says today that Lokonga has not travelled with the rest of the Anderlecht squad for their pre-season training camp in Holland.

The Belgian publication claims that Lokonga is now on the verge of joining Arsenal and as long as there are no late complications, the youngster is expected to finalise his move to the Emirates Stadium later this week.

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Het Nieuwsblad [via Sport Witness] suggests the proposed deal will cost Arsenal £15m [€17.5m] up front with another £3.4m [€4m] in potential bonuses so the entire deal could be worth just over £18m.

The news comes after it was reported over the weekend that the midfielder wasn’t involved in Anderlecht’s squad photo-shoot ahead of the new season while Voetbalprimeur suggests that Lokonga is now heading to London to finalise his move to Arsenal.

So it looks like the transfer is close to being completed and the 21-year-old should prove to be an exciting long-term addition to Arteta’s squad as he’s developed into one of the most highly-rated youngsters in Belgian football.

Lokonga has been with Anderlecht his entire career having come through their youth ranks but despite his young age, he’s already an established member of their first team and even captained the side during the closing stages of last season.

The 6ft midfielder is also expected to become a full international with Belgium having been named on their stand-by list for Euro 2020 so he could prove to be a shrewd piece of business by Arsenal if they can get this deal over the line.

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