Arsenal are reportedly set to continue negotiations with Brighton over a deal for Ben White, with the north Londoners preparing an improved bid for the defender.
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal are preparing a third bid for defender Ben White after Brighton & Hove Albion rejected two previous offers. Negotiations are believed to be ongoing between the clubs as Arsenal do not want to lose their priority target and accept a deal could be stuck.
Arsenal have made no secret of their interest in Ben White. The Gunners have seen two significant bids rejected by Brighton in the past weeks, with Brighton adamant on their valuation of the player. Arsenal’s hopes have not deterred as the Gunners are preparing an improved third offer for the highly sought-after English international.
Mikel Arteta continues to scour around the transfer market for viable options for his Arsenal squad as he undertakes a massive rebuild of sorts. The Gunners were not understood to prioritise central defence this summer, but the prolonged chase of Ben White suggests otherwise, perhaps borne out of David Luiz’s exit this summer.
Arsenal are already on the verge of securing young Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica and remain closer than ever to landing Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht. However, White is understood to be Arteta’s key target, as the manager replaces the experience of Luiz, who left at the end of the season.
Arsenal have Rob Holding as their only right centre-back option, with William Saliba also set to move on loan to Marseille. Arteta believes White will provide the style necessary for his backline, which is to transition attacks from the back, a philosophy he has been adamant upon since he arrived at the club.
As for White’s price, Brighton have not made their valuation public, although it is understood they want £50 million plus around £5 million in bonuses for a deal to be stuck. Arsenal’s two offers were £42 million and £45 million-plus bonuses reportedly, which Brighton deemed uneventful.
The other problem that Arsenal face is the growing interest from rival Premier League sides in White. Everton and Manchester City have reportedly shown interest in recent weeks, while Chelsea are the latest side to consider signing the 23-year-old. The Champions League holders could also offer White European football, currently unavailable at Arsenal.
However, Arsenal are expected to make this third offer with the idea of convincing Brighton into a sale. If the Seagulls remain adamant about doing a deal, the Gunners might turn their attention towards alternate targets, like Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen.
As it stands, White remains Arsenal’s priority defensive target this summer, and the north London club are likely to pull all stops to secure the 23-year-old England international. However, they are not expected to cave in to Brighton’s unrealistic demands and may not pay over the odds.