Arsenal close to agreeing £50m deal for Brighton’s Ben White
Arsenal are closing in on Brighton defender Ben White, with a £50m deal now expected to be agreed in the coming days.
The Gunners are in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer, after allowing Brazilian centre-back David Luiz to leave the club at the expiry of his contract.
Manager Mikel Arteta is expected to be backed to the tune of £250m as he seeks to overhaul Arsenal’s playing squad, and having seen an initial bid of around £40m for White snubbed by Brighton, progress now appears to have been made in talks between the two parties.
The Athletic note that Arsenal are closing in on a deal that could eventually be worth £50m to Brighton, with the Seagulls adamant that they want of all that money up front. As it stands, the Gunners are proposing an upfront payment of £45m, with a further £5m to be paid in add-ons further down the line.
Talks are expected to centre around how achievable said add-ons would be, but it’s unlikely that they will hinder a deal being thrashed out.
White is currently away on international duty with England at Euro 2020 after receiving a late call-up in place of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold. That came off the back of an impressive season at Brighton, where he proved himself to be a valuable commodity both at the heart of defence and in midfield.
Given White’s international commitments, any deal may have to wait until England’s Euro 2020 campaign is over before being concluded – despite prior reports suggesting that personal terms could quickly be agreed.
While the signing of White would see Arsenal tick off one of the areas in their squad they’ve been hoping to strengthen, it raises further questions over the future of William Saliba.
The young French defender arrived at the Emirates Stadium two years ago to much fanfare, having cost a princely £27m. But Saliba was immediately loaned out to Saint-Etienne and also spent last season back in Ligue 1 with OGC Nice.
Many had expected him to be integrated into Arsenal’s first team squad in the near future, but rumour are abound that Arteta may be willing to cut his losses on the 20-year-old. Newcastle are just one of a number of clubs credited with an interest in his signature.