Primary Arsenal target given green light to make move by end of this week

Date published: Wednesday 7th July 2021 5:19 - Samuel Bannister

Thierry Henry, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Youri Tielemans, Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, Euro 2020 training

Arsenal and Anderlecht both want to announce the deal for the transfer of Albert Sambi Lokonga this week after he was cleared to undergo a medical, according to reports.

Lokonga looks likely to be Arsenal’s first signing of what will be a busy summer. There will be plenty of ins and outs at the Emirates Stadium, particularly in midfield. Both in defensive and attacking territories, Arsenal need to revamp the middle of their park.

Following the departure of Matteo Guendouzi and the returns of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard after their loan spells, new options are already a priority. The fact that Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira could also leave will only add to their focus on signing new midfielders.

One of the new arrivals will seemingly be Lokonga. The 21-year-old has already earned a prominent role with Anderlecht and is now ready for the next step. Arsenal are keen to offer him that platform.

A move appears to be getting closer after he was left out of Anderlecht’s pre-season training camp. Arsenal have come back in with a new offer and it seems it could have been successful.

Now, according to Voetbalkrant, Lokonga is expecting to be told today that he can travel to London to complete his transfer.

Both clubs are keen to complete the deal by the end of the week, so Anderlecht will now grant him permission to head to England to put the finishing touches to it. He needs to complete a medical and sign his contract, of which the terms have already been agreed.

Lokonga is likely to sign a contract until 2026, while Anderlecht should receive €17.5m plus add-ons.

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Miralem Pjanic, Barcelona away kit 2020/21

Lokonga is unlikely to be the only midfielder Arsenal move for this summer. Indeed, they have also been linked with Miralem Pjanic.

Pjanic made the transfer from Juventus to the Spanish giants last summer in a swap deal with Arthur Melo. It’s safe to say it’s a move that has not worked out for the Bosnian, who made only six La Liga starts as Barca finished third.

As such, Pjanic has been strongly linked with a transfer away ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Chelsea reportedly have transfer interest in the 31-year-old. Meanwhile, more recent reports claimed that Manchester United have made a bid for him.

It’s Tottenham though who have had the strongest links because of Fabio Paratici’s connection with Pjanic. The ex-Juve chief had ties to the player while in Turin.

However, Sport now claims it is Arsenal who are leading the chase. The Spanish outlet reports that the Gunners have already been in contact with his agent to push through the deal.


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They report the Gunners have told Barcelona they will cover all of the Bosnian’s wages if they allow him to move on a year’s loan and waive a fee.

And it’s stated Barca are ready to accept any formula to cut ties with Pjanic. They are in desperate need to lower their salary budget.

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