Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Arsenal are reportedly set to sign Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga this week. Sambi Lokonga will not travel with Anderlecht for their pre-season training camp to Alkmaar. The Belgian is one of two signings Arsenal are close to completing.
Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares is closing in on a permanent switch to the Emirates.
Tavares was pictured flying to England over the weekend to finalise an initial £6.9million transfer.
And Sambi Lokonga appears set to follow his fellow 21-year-old through the door at the Emirates.
Reports last week claimed Arsenal had increased their offer for Lokonga to £15m plus £3.4m in add-ons.
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Now, Dutch outlet La Derniere Heure claims Lokonga is ‘closer than ever’ to joining Arsenal.
Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht squad will travel to Alkmaar today [Monday] but Lokonga is unlikely to attend.
The report says Lokonga is ‘about to leave’ Anderlecht and should sign for Arsenal this week, if all goes to plan.
Lokonga came through the youth ranks at Anderlecht and has become a regular in the past two seasons.
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Arsenal have made it clear they are in the market for a midfielder this summer.
With Granit Xhaka looking set to join Roma, and Dani Ceballos having returned to Real Madrid following his loan spell, Mikel Arteta’s options in midfield are short.
Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Sheffield United’s Sander Berge have all been reported as targets for the Gunners.
Sassuolo and Italy star Manuel Locatelli is also on Arsenal’s radar but Juventus are favourites to sign the 23-year-old.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are also keen to strengthen in defence and Brighton star Ben White is a top target.
Arsenal have already seen at least one bid turned down by the Seagulls for the England international.
Speaking on Reach PLC’s Transfer Window podcast, Duncan Castles says Arsenal improved their offer to Brighton last week.
Castles said: “My understanding is that this week they have improved their offer, increased the initial down payment and made the schedule of the payments over the course of the contract more attractive to Brighton.
“But as yet there is not an agreement between the two clubs on the transfer fee.
“Why not an agreement? I think it’s the degree of interest in White, his age, young England international, his speed and comfort on the ball.
“It’s the balance of characteristics that clubs are looking for in defenders these days.”
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