Arsenal have reportedly moved a step closer to securing the services of 23-year-old English international Ben White in a £50 million deal.
According to a report by The Athletic, Arsenal have made swift progress in negotiating a deal with Brighton & Hove Albion for Ben White. The Gunners have held face-to-face talks with Brighton & Hove Albion, and it is believed that a consensus will be reached over a £50 million deal soon.
Ben White is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in the Premier League, having progressed leaps and bounds since joining the Brighton & Hove Albion academy in 2014. However, he had to wait till the 2020/21 season to make his breakthrough in the Seagulls’ first-team setup, following three successful loan spells at Newport County, Peterborough United and Leeds United.
In fact, the 23-year-old was heavily linked with a bevy of top Premier League clubs last summer as well before Brighton managed to keep hold of him. Subsequently, White made 36 Premier League appearances for Brighton, impressing as a centre-back as well as a holding midfielder. His progress has once again attracted several English bigwigs, and most of all, Arsenal.
Arsenal have only recently taken a serious interest in White, as they scour the transfer market for a right-sided centre-back this summer. The eagerness for a central defender has been created by the departure of David Luiz, who will officially leave the Gunners when his contract expires at the end of this month.
With the likes of Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari blowing hot and cold, it is imperative that Arsenal bolster the heart of their defence, especially seeing as Calum Chambers has been utilised as a right-back lately while Konstantinos Mavropanos has joined VfB Stuttgart on loan once again.
Question marks loom around the future of William Saliba as well, with the arrival of a centre-back likely to subject him to a third loan spell away from the Emirates. As for Arsenal, they have had Jules Kounde in their sights, but the financials involved in signing him have forced them to take a step back in his pursuit.
Instead, White has now emerged as the priority target, with Arsenal prepared to shell out a sum of £45 million for him upfront. Brighton, though, wish to recoup £50 million in exchange for his services, with the Gunners only prepared to pay the remaining £5 million in bonuses.
Meanwhile, talks pertaining to the 23-year-old English international are progressing well as per the report, which adds that Arsenal have inched closer to reaching an agreement to land him. What now remains to be seen is if Arsenal and Brighton can reach a consensus over the transfer fee, with a summer transfer appearing to be highly likely.