Arsenal step-up talks to sign 23y/o star as Arteta closes-in on £65m double swoop
Arsenal are pushing to seal a deal for Ben White as Mikel Arteta looks to wrap-up a double swoop also involving Albert Lokonga
Arsenal are pressing ahead with their attempts to sign Brighton defender Ben White as they look to close-out a double swoop also involving Anderlecht midfielder Albert Lokonga, according to the Evening Standard.
Mikel Arteta is expected to be extremely busy over the coming weeks as he looks to overhaul a squad that finished eighth in the Premier League last season and the Gunners boss has already signed left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica.
Arsenal are also in the market for another centre-back as David Luiz has left the club after his contract expired while William Saliba is set to join Marseille on loan so another defender is needed and White has been touted as a prime target.
Negotiations with Brighton have been ongoing for weeks but Arsenal have so far been unable to strike a deal having reportedly seen two offers rejected by the south coast club.
The Evening Standard says Arsenal will now step-up their attempts to land White now that Euro 2020 is over as the England players agreed to put their futures on hold during the tournament at the request of boss Gareth Southgate.
The newspaper suggests White is keen on joining Arsenal this summer and the Londoners remain locked in talks with Brighton trying to thrash out a deal which is expected to be worth around £50m.
The 23-year-old has developed into one of the most highly-rated young defenders in British football over the past year so he’d be a terrific signing if Arsenal could get this proposed deal over the line.
The Gunners are also in the market for another midfielder as Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Madrid, Matteo Guendouzi has joined Marseille while Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are also expected to leave the Emirates this summer.
Arteta has identified Lokonga as a key target and the Evening Standard says Arsenal are on the verge of completing a deal for the youngster after agreeing a fee of around £15m plus add-ons with Anderlecht.
The 21-year-old is reportedly in quarantine after arriving in the UK from Belgium but the report says personal terms have already been agreed with the player so the move will be finalised once he’s allowed out of isolation.
Lokonga is highly regarded in Belgium and has been hugely impressive for Anderlecht since breaking into their first team 18 months ago. He’s already captained the side despite his young age and has already racked up almost 70 appearances.
So it looks as though Arsenal are closing in on a double swoop that will cost them around £65m for two talented young players as Arteta continues to revamp his squad this summer.
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