Arsenal have finally reached an agreement with Brighton over the signing of Ben White, with the Gunners paying £50m to sign the defender.
The Gunners had tabled bids in the regions of £40m and £45m for the 23-year-old, who was part of England’s Euro 2020 squad. However, the Seagulls were adamant their star man would not leave for a penny less than £50m.
After weeks of negotiations, The Athletic reports that the two clubs have now struck a deal. The fee represents a club-record fee for a defender as far as the Gunners are concerned. That will beat the £36.9m paid to Valencia for Shkodran Mustafi in 2016.
Indeed, the fee is the third highest in Arsenal history with only Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubaymeyang costing more.
White is now free to travel to Arsenal for talks and a medical. However, with the player currently on holiday after being with England the last month, they may be delayed until later in the month.
However, if all goes without a hitch, White will soon become an Arsenal player – and the news will hand Mikel Arteta a timely lift.
White is widely regarded as one the best centre-back prospects in England. His versatility to also play in a defensive midfield role only adds to his soaring value.
However, the Gunners were always in the driving seat, with White seemingly keen to make the move.
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Indeed, we reported last month how White ‘has told his Leeds United friends he expects to quit Brighton for Arsenal this summer’.
It’s also been suggested that White has already begun house-hunting in the area.
Arsenal and Tottenham players often live in leafy Hertfordshire with Cuffley, Brookmans Park and Radlett popular choices.
Lokonga to follow Ben White deal
The Gunners already have brought in Nuno Tavares from Benfica.
However, White looks likely to become Arsenal’s third signing of the summer, with Albert Sambi Lokonga likely to be the next through the door.
The midfielder is due to arrive in a €17.5m deal from Anderlecht in the coming days.
The player is said to have completed the required quarantine to seal his transfer to north London. Lokonga has spent the last few days in isolation as per government guidelines, waiting for his move from the Belgian outfit to be ratified.
The talented 21-year-old will sign a five-year deal, while his squad number has also recently been revealed.