Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of completing the signing of Belgian midfield prodigy Albert Sambi Lokonga in a deal worth €17.5 million plus add-ons.
According to reputed journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are poised to complete the signing of 21-year-old midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht in the next few days with a deal now agreed.
Lokonga came through the youth ranks at Anderlecht and has gradually grown into a regular for Vincent Kompany’s side, racking up 78 appearances in which he has three goals and seven assists to show for. A central midfielder who can operate as a No. 6 or a No. 8, the 21-year-old is on the standby list for the Belgium squad for the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020.
Impressed by his growth with Anderlecht over the past year, Arsenal registered their interest in Lokonga earlier this month. Mikel Arteta & co. are crying out loud for reinforcements in the middle of the park following the return of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard to Real Madrid after their loan deals ran out. In addition, Granit Xhaka is on the verge of sealing a transfer to Italy, with AS Roma interested as well.
This would have left Arteta with just Thomas Partey, and Mohamed Elneny as options in the middle, given as Joe Willock is also expected to seal a permanent transfer away from the club after he impressed on loan at Newcastle United during the second half of the 2020/21 season.
Thus, Lokonga became a viable target for Arsenal. In fact, the Gunners even had an offer rejected for the youngster, despite having reached an agreement over personal terms with him. Now, they are said to be on the verge of completing a deal for the Belgian, with Romano insisting that the north Londoners have a deal in place to sign him up.
As per the update from the Italian journalist, Arsenal will be shelling out a transfer fee of €17.5 million for Lokonga apart from add-ons, while Anderlecht will also be getting a percentage of proceeds from future sales with the final details now being worked out. The deal is expected to be completed in the next few days.
Lokonga is the second player that Arsenal are now close to signing, having reached an agreement with SL Benfica for the transfer of 21-year-old left-back Nuno Tavares as well.