Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Brighton centre-back Ben White and have increased their offer to £54m including add-ons, according to reports.
Mikel Arteta is in the market for another centre-back to replace David Luiz after he left the club this summer. William Saliba is also expected to head back to France on loan so Arsenal need another option to compete with the likes of Gabriel, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari next season.
White has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium after being identified by Arteta as a key target and Arsenal have been locked in negotiations with Brighton for several weeks trying to thrash out a deal.
After seeing two previous offers rejected by the south coast club, it appears Arsenal have gone back with a third improved offer. Reporter Duncan Castles claims on The Transfer Window Podcast that the Gunners have now offered £48m guaranteed plus a further £6m in add-ons, making the entire deal worth up to £54m.
Castles says that Arsenal’s latest offer just about matches the price that White expects Brighton to sell him for but the Seagulls are yet to respond to the North Londoners improved proposal.
Speaking on The Transfer Window Podcast, Castles said:
“My understanding is that Arsenal made a third offer for White at this beginning of this week. They’ve increased the guaranteed sum to £48m.”
“There’s another £6m in performance related variables, the majority of which should be easily achieved. So they’ve pretty much got to where White expected to be sold for.”
“However, my understanding is Brighton are yet to accept or make a decision on that offer.”
White is currently away with the England squad at Euro 2020 ahead of Sunday’s final against Italy and Castles says the defender may start to agitate for a final decision to be made over his future once the tournament is over.
Castles went on to suggest that Brighton may be taking their time responding to Arsenal’s offer as they want to see if any other clubs come in with rival bids with Man City, Chelsea, Everton and Man Utd all expressing their interest.
However, Arsenal remain in pole position as Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano claims the Gunners have agreed personal terms with the 23-year-old’s camp and remain confident of completing a deal with Brighton.
Romano said on Twitter:
Arsenal are still confident and working to complete the agreement with Brighton for Ben White on a permanent deal – personal terms already agreed.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming days but White would be a terrific signing if Arsenal could get this proposed deal over the line this summer.
The young centre-back has developed into one of the best defenders in the Premier League over the past year and would be an excellent long-term addition to Arteta’s squad.