Arsenal have been given the green light to complete the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga – by the player himself.
The Gunners have made bolstering their midfield arguably their biggest priority for this summer’s transfer window. In fact, reports claim that boss Mikel Arteta is looking to perform an ‘overhaul’ of his ranks. While he wants a new all-rounder, a new No. 10 to bolster his attack is also a target.
Lokonga is a top target in midfield, as Arsenal see him as a direct replacement for Granit Xhaka.
The Switzerland international has interest from Roma, but a deal has yet to progress.
A deal for Lokonga is seemingly progressing well though. Indeed, earlier this week it was claimed that the Gunners are one step away from his signing.
Seemingly, all that is left for Arsenal to do is to agree on a fee with Anderlecht. As per reports last week, the Gunners’ initial £13m offer has been rejected. The Belgian club are reportedly seeking a fee in the €20m (£17m) region.
The Gunners though are not alone in their admiration for the player. Their failure to finalise his signing has alerted both Atalanta and Napoli, who are both keen to take the Belgian to Italy.
However, as per trusted transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, the player has made a move to Emirates his No 1 priority.
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Romano states that Lokonga has snubbed the advances of both Serie A sides by informing them of his desire to join the Gunners.
Furthermore, Romano told his Here We Go podcast that the deal could be tied up in the next few days.
“Talks between Arsenal and Anderlecht are true, and Arsenal and the player’s agents are true. Lokonga is 100% open to joining Arsenal. He would love to join Arsenal. He told Napoli and Atalanta ‘my priority is Arsenal’. Let’s see if Arsenal will complete a deal in the next days,” Romano said.
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Ben White next for Arsenal
Arsenal are also reportedly closing in on a deal to sign Ben White from Brighton, amid claims a compromise over his fee is close to being finalised.
Reports last week claimed the Gunners had seen an initial £40m approach rejected by the Seagulls.
However, Arsenal are not being deterred and a second, improved offer is planned.
And with White keen on the move, it was reported that last week that White was already house-hunting in leafy Hertfordshire.
To that end, the Seagulls are believed to have placed a £50m asking price on his head. And knowing that he wants the move, it’s about maximising the most they can from his sale.
Indeed, reports have stated that a compromise could soon be reached. That will see Arsenal pay an initial £40m for the player, but with a further £10m made up of achievable add-ons and targets.