‘Breakthrough’ expected soon as Arsenal improve bid for top midfield target

Albert Sambi Lokonga, Zinho Vanheusden, Belgium

Arsenal have made an improved offer to Anderlecht for the services of midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, according to reports.

Lokonga is one of Arsenal’s main targets for the summer transfer window. They have several areas to strengthen after missing out on European qualification last season. One of the priority positions is in midfield, where they have already been deprived of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard.

The pair have returned to Real Madrid following their loan spells at the Emirates Stadium. Furthermore, in deeper midfield territory, Granit Xhaka wants to leave for Roma and Arsenal could also sell Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.

Therefore, there will be a large focus on midfield signings for Arsenal to replenish the area this summer. Among their main objectives is Lokonga.

Since making his professional debut in 2017, Lokonga has established his importance for Anderlecht. He made 33 starts in the Belgian top flight last season and provided three goals and two assists.

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His displays over the course of 2020-21 have attracted Arsenal, who have been linked for around a month. Their interest soon materialised into a £13m bid, but that was not enough for Anderlecht to accept.

However, Arsenal have now come back in with a new offer. According to Het Nieuwsblad, the price is rising above €15m.

They specify that Arsenal’s first unsuccessful bid was worth €14m plus €3m in bonuses. Thus, they have now increased their proposal to a higher figure, both in terms of the up-front fee and add-ons, although it is not exactly clear how much the new bid is worth.

Even so, it is expected to be successful. The report predicts a “breakthrough” will arrive soon.

Lokonga close to joining Arsenal

As per the terms of the transfer, Anderlecht may also retain a decent sell-on clause. Personal terms will not be a problem as Lokonga has chosen to join Arsenal ahead of other suitors.

Another source, Voetbal Krant, also predict a positive outcome for Arsenal. They revealed earlier that the Gunners initially tried to use clauses such as them winning the Premier League as a bonus. However, with that scenario unlikely, they have had to find alternative arrangements with Anderlecht.

Now, the two clubs seem to be coming towards a common middle-ground, meaning the Arsenal rebuild could be about to really get up and running.

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