Arsenal ‘agree’ £50m fee for Ben White with Gunners to finally land defender

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Arsenal are said to have finally agreed a deal with Brighton for Ben White as Mikel Arteta strengthens his defensive options ahead of the new Premier League season.

Arteta had been desperate to see additions to his playing squad this summer after missing out on European qualification last season – and White is set to become the most expensive defender in club history.

The 23-year-old has progressed impressively since helping Leeds to promotion from the Championship back in 2019/20, playing a key role under Graham Potter at the Amex last time out.

That form caught the eye of England boss Gareth Southgate, who added White to his Euro 2020 squad, where he remained an unused sub thanks to the form of Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker.

The Sun have now reported that the Gunners have 'committed' to paying Brighton's full asking price of £50million for the centre-back, following rejected bids of £40m and £42m.

That fee puts White behind only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe on Arsenal's list of most expensive incoming deals, and third on the list of most expensive English players in history.

Earlier this week Arsenal lost 2-1 in their first pre season friendly outing against Hibs, which might well have convinced club bosses to spend.

The Gunners lost 2-1 following a blunder from Arthur Okonkwo on his senior debut, with Daniel MacKay grabbing another before Emile Smith Rowe's consolation goal with 10 minutes remaining.

Will Arsenal compete for Champions League qualification with Ben White in their squad? Give us your thoughts in the comments section

Arteta said of his side in general following Tuesday's defeat: "I'm always disappointed when we lose a football match but it is the first game, we played with many kids and we only had four training sessions.

"We've trained really hard and you could see that the players were a little bit leggy. I think we conceded the first goal, an accident, and the second goal was clearly offside.

"We created many, many chances but we didn't score. That's what pre-season is for, to take the things that we haven't done well into a training session and then improve."

After saying in May that this window could be the most important one at the club in many years, Arsenal secured the signing of left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica.

Arteta said of the switch: “We welcome Nuno to the club.

"He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.

"Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch. We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”

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