Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Arsenal are confident of finally striking an agreement with Brighton and Hove Albion for the services of Ben White despite seeing two bids knocked back by the Seagulls, according to reports. The Gunners are said to be preparing a third offer for the 23-year-old, who is currently representing England at Euro 2020.
Mikel Arteta is said to be keen on leading a large-scale overhaul of his current playing squad ahead of the new campaign.
The north London club are believed to already be closing in on two new additions, in the form of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and Benfica full-back Nuno Tavares.
Central defence is also understood to be an area of concern for Arsenal, with David Luiz having left the club upon the expiry of his contract at the end of last season.
White has been linked with the Gunners for some time and has reportedly been the subject of not one, but two formal offers from the three-time Premier League champions, who have stepped up their interest in recent weeks.
Both proposals are said to have been rejected by Brighton, who are under no financial pressure to sell the defender but are willing to part ways for the right price.
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Arsenal have now drawn up plans to lodge a third bid for White in the coming days, with club chiefs ‘hopeful’ of securing his signature despite their lack of progress thus far, according to Sky Sports.
The report claims that talks are continuing between the two Premier League rivals and a deal has not yet been agreed, but those in north London are optimistic that the move will take place eventually.
It remains to be seen whether Brighton will accept any offers for White between now and the start of next season.
He has established himself as a mainstay in Graham Potter’s side since making a name for himself during a highly impressive loan spell with Leeds United in the Championship.
White featured in all but two of his side’s Premier League matches last season, earning a place in England’s 26-man squad for the Euros in the process after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pre-tournament injury.
However, he is yet to play a single minute in the competition, with the likes of Harry Maguire, John Stones and Tyrone Mings preferred by Gareth Southgate at the heart of England’s defence.
Meanwhile, Brighton chairman Tony Bloom recently admitted that the likes of White and team-mate Yves Bissouma could leave the club this summer if their valuations are met by any potential suitors.
“I don’t see it as a negative at all,” Bloom told The Argus back in May when quizzed on the reported interest in Brighton’s key men.
“The more big clubs that are interested in our players, the more we’re doing right, so I am delighted with that.
“We know that some of our best players aren’t going to be with us forever and, if the right offer comes along, and it has to be the right offer, and they want to leave, then they can go.
“But I foresee the vast majority of our current squad being here at the beginning of next season.”
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