Signing on the brink as star tells friends he’s moving to Arsenal in £50m deal

Date published: Thursday 17th June 2021 11:43 - James Marshment

Kelechi Iheanacho, Ben White

Arsenal are growing increasingly confident of securing the signing of Ben White this summer amid claims he’s told friends he expects the move to go through this summer.

The Gunners have made overhauling their backline a mission in what is expected to be a critical transfer window. David Luiz is due to depart as a free agent, while William Saliba has been inked with Newcastle on loan. Full-back Hector Bellerin is another who could go, with a Liverpool man recently naming who he will likely be joining.

However, Mikel Arteta’s side are looking at strengthening the heart of their defence and have identified impressive Three Lions centre-back White as their No 1 option.

A Tuesday report detailed ‘positive talks’ as Arsenal sought to jump ahead of Man Utd and Liverpool in the queue for the defender.

The 23-year-old Brighton defender’s stock has risen dramatically over the last two years, culminating in an England call-up after just one season of top flight football.

And reports on Wednesday claimed the Gunners had seen an initial £40m approach rejected by the Seagulls.

However, the Gunners are not being deterred and a second, improved offer is planned.

As such, Football Insider claim the Gunners are ‘expected to return to the negotiating table with an improved offer for White as talks continue’.

Furthermore, it seems like the signing is edging closer with White keen to make the move.

Indeed, it’s reported White ‘has told his Leeds United friends he expects to quit Brighton for Arsenal this summer’. To that end, Brighton are likely to hold out for a £50m fee.

That is a claim verified by Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, who claims the Gunners will stiffen their resolve with an “improved offer”.

“I’m told that talks are continuing and Arsenal are expected to go back in with an improved offer,” said Sheth.

“It’s interesting because Ben White signed a new contract with Brighton last summer which takes him up until 2024. That came off the back of three bids from Leeds United that were all rejected.

“But what a season he has had. He’s been a regular fixture in the Premier League with Brighton. Then he became part of that England squad for Euro 2020. And now it looks like Arsenal would very, very much like to have him at the Emirates.

“A £40m bid has gone in and been rejected but that is not the end of it.”

White house-hunting in north London suburbs

With White keen to make the move, it’s claimed the defender has already begun house-hunting in the area.

Arsenal and Tottenham players often live in leafy Hertfordshire with Cuffley, Brookmans Park and Radlett often popular choices.

And with his salary expected to more than double by moving to Arsenal, he’s not expected to be short of options.

White signed a new four-year deal at the Amex Stadium last summer. However, Football Insider has also confirmed that ‘Leeds are not expected to join the race for their former loan star.’

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