Arsenal are still in pole position to sign Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion this summer, despite Manchester City also registering an interest in the young defender, according to football.london.
The Seagulls are aware of their inability to keep their best players at the Amex forever, and they’re resigned to selling White if they have to, but only for the right price. That price has always been £50 million, and it is not to be wondered at that the Gunners saw their first offer of £40m rejected.
Apparently, the deal has now been agreed, with Arsenal finally prepared to pay the asking price after realizing there would be no other way to get the 23-year-old to the Emirates. White signed a new four-year contract with Brighton last year, which indeed puts the proposed selling club in a very strong negotiating position.
As for the interest from the Premier League champions, it’s understood that they contacted White’s representatives with the idea of snatching the deal at the last minute, but the player’s heart appears set on the Emirates move.
The Gunners are yet to complete their first signing of the summer, but they are expected to undergo a pretty thorough overhaul of the squad to set matters right after an extremely disappointing 2020-21 campaign. White could soon become the first step towards that goal, but it won’t happen before the end of the ongoing Euros, where England are set to face Denmark in the semifinals on Wednesday. Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka is expected to feature in that match, having recovered from an ankle knock which saw him miss the quarterfinal win over Ukraine.
As a newly established England international under Gareth Southgate, White is expected to demand a significant increase on the wages he currently earns at the Amex, but Arsenal don’t have a problem with that given that the departure of David Luiz knocks a significant amount off their wage bill. In fact, the personal terms have already been agreed, it seems.