Premier League • England

Arsenal transfers: Edu ‘very close’ to first summer signing with final fee for star Mikel Arteta ‘loves’ to top £68m

Sporting director Edu in Arsenal dressing room

Arsenal sporting director Edu sat in Arsenal dressing room

Arsenal sporting director Edu is reportedly closing in on the signing of Kai Havertz – with a big update from Germany claiming a deal to sign the Chelsea star is nearing.

The Gunners are looking to strengthen their squad after pushing Manchester City close to the 2022/23 Premier League crown. While there is disappointment Arsenal let slip their lead, the club can be proud of the giant strides they made.

And after comfortably securing runners-up place, the Gunners can look forward to returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2017.

Now plans are underway to ensure Arsenal can not only compete for the UCL, but to also go again in the race for the title.

They are chasing a number of high-profile deals, with their interest in Declan Rice well documented. To that end, they have seen one offer fail while a second bid is seemingly in the works. Indeed, they are being urged to move fast for the England star amid heightening claims Man City are planning an approach of their own for Rice.

Matters for the 24-year-old are expected to reach a head this week, with the Gunners still confident of good news.

However, Rice might not be the first new arrival at Emirates Stadium this summer. And reports from Germany claim that honour could well fall upon Havertz.

To that end, their opening offer worth around £50m has already been waved away by Chelsea. However, amid claims Havertz is giving the move the green light, Arsenal are now readying a second approach.

To that end, reports on Saturday claimed Arsenal have put a top-limit on the potential deal.

READ MOREKai Havertz is a marginal gain for Arsenal when they need giant leaps forward

Arsenal to pay up to £68m for Kai Havertz

The German’s deal at Stamford Bridge is currently due to expire in 2025, with Chelsea putting a £70m valuation on his head.

That price was recently deemed too much for rival suitors Real Madrid.

And while there is interest from Bayern Munich too, it seems they too are ready to drop out the race.

As a result, Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg now claims a move to Arsenal is ‘very close’.

Taking to Twitter, he stated: “News #Havertz: He‘s very close to join @Arsenal now! All depends on the final offer from Arsenal.

“Havertz, keen to join #Arsenal now as personal terms are almost agreed. Arteta loves to see him in addition to Jesus.

“Bayern inquired about conditions in the last days but the negotiations with Arsenal are too advanced – Bayern informed. Therefore no offer/hijack from Bayern yet.

“Transfer fee package expected: at least around €80m [£68m] all in.”

Plettenberg’s claim that Arsenal are ready to pay £68m for Havertz will likely see a deal accepted. Per reports, that fee will consist of a downpayment of around £58m, with a further £10m in bonuses and add-ons.

The deal is likely to suit all parties and there appears a growing belief an agreement can soon be reached.

Thierry Henry has Havertz admiration

Chelsea have never quite managed to get the best out of Havertz since a summer 2020 move from Bayer Leverkusen.

Nonetheless, he will forever be a club legend after scoring the winner in the 2021 Champions League final.

Capable of playing across the frontline, he is one of those rare players who is not quite a nine, but neither a No 10 too.

One man who does admire his abilities though is Gunners legend Thierry Henry.

Speaking on CBS Sports Champions League coverage earlier this year, Henry compared Havertz to former Arsenal star Robin van Persie.

“He reminds me sometimes, a little, of Robin [van Persie] – back to goal the way he can hold the ball,” he said. “Now he needs to make sure he can transform that into more goals because you can play off him.”

Havertz will leave Chelsea having scored 32 goals, adding 15 assists from 139 appearances.

READ MOREArsenal willing to greenlight midfielder’s move across Premier League as Arteta doubles down on decision