Arsenal are reportedly closing in on their first signing of the summer transfer window after agreeing personal terms with Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.
According to a report from Football Insider, Arsenal have reached an agreement over personal terms with RSC Anderlecht’s Belgian sensation Albert Sambi Lokonga with the Gunners now working on finalising the deal.
Lokonga came through the youth ranks at Anderlecht and made his first-team debut for the Belgian giants back in 2017. However, it was only from the 2019/20 term that he became a regular in the side. To date, the 21-year-old has gone on to feature 78 times for Vincent Kompany’s side, with 37 of those coming in the 2020/21 season when he also managed to score and assist three goals apiece.
Lokonga’s rapid development at Anderlecht has led to a call-up from the Belgian national team, although the youngster could only make it to the standby list for the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020. Nevertheless, the midfielder seems to have gained admirers outside of his homeland, with Arsenal emerging as an ardent suitor this summer.
Arsenal are in the market for a new central midfield addition as they have lost both Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard, who are back at parent club Real Madrid after their loan spells in North London. Besides, midfield mainstay and former captain Granit Xhaka could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium this summer, with a switch to AS Roma being strongly mooted.
In addition to that, returning loanee Matteo Guendouzi is also expected to depart on a permanent basis this time out while Joe Willock, too, is facing an uncertain future. So, it goes without saying that Arsenal must bring in at least one central midfielder before the season kicks off to form a partnership with last summer’s marquee signing, Thomas Partey.
Arsenal have been linked with several players such as Franck Kessie of AC Milan as well as Wolves’ mainstay Ruben Neves. But a move for Lokonga seems to be on the horizon imminently. Despite having played as a defensive midfielder for Anderlecht, the 21-year-old is also capable of doing the job higher up on the pitch.
And, as per the report, the Belgian starlet has already accepted the personal terms at Arsenal have offered. The Gunners are now working on reaching an agreement with Anderlecht over a transfer fee, with the Belgians having already shot down an opening offer of £13 million. There is, however, a belief that an agreement will soon be struck by inserting add-ons to take the valuation to an acceptable level for Lokonga’s current club.
So, as things stand, it seems like Arsenal could very well be closing in on their first signing of the summer transfer window, with Lokonga in line to arrive at the Emirates.