Arsenal are set for a huge squad overhaul this summer, football.london understands, with at least five players – all in different positions – being targeted.
With David Luiz leaving the club, the Gunners are eyeing a new centre-back and one in particular, with Ben White on their radar.
White enjoyed a fantastic 2020/21 season at Brighton in the Premier League and earned himself a place in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad for the Euros.
The 23-year-old defender returned to the Seagulls last summer after a really impressive loan spell at Leeds United – with the Yorkshire outfit reportedly keen on making his deal permanent 12 months ago.
However, he returned to the Amex Stadium and flourished under Graham Potter – justifying his decision to stay put down on the south coast.
But 12 months on and he is being heavily linked with a departure from Brighton – and football.london has rounded up everything that has happened so far in the White to Arsenal transfer saga.
£50m price tag
At the start of June, Brighton slapped a £50million price tag on White, according to the Mail.
The outlet reported that the Seagulls were resigned to losing the defender, but wanted to make the most money they possibly could.
White still has three years to run on his deal at the Amex, meaning Potter’s men are in a strong position to negotiate with other clubs.
Leeds reportedly had a £25million bid – half of his new asking price – offer rejected last summer.
Brighton’s stance on losing key players
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber admitted recently that the south coast club could leave this summer – but only if the price is right.
“We know some of our best players aren’t going to be with us forever and, if the right offer comes along – and it has to be the right offer – and they want to leave, then they can go,” Barber said.
“If we’ve got players leaving, then we’ve got back-up internally, and we can go out into the transfer market. We’re always looking ahead.”
Arsenal have also been linked with Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma this summer.
White’s transfer stance made clear
football.london understands that White wants to move to Arsenal this summer amid interest from the north London giants.
That’s despite putting pen-to-paper on a new contract down on the south coast last year.
Also, according to the Mail, White would command a significant wage increase if he is to leave Brighton following his new status as an England international.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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The Gunners might be in a strong position to offer him this, though, with Luiz leaving the club which represents a significant number off the current wage bill.
£40m bid rejected
football.london reported on Wednesday afternoon that the Gunners have launched a big-money bid for the England centre-back.
As mentioned above, Brighton reportedly want £50million for White, which might not make it surprising that Arsenal’s opening bid of £40million has been turned down.
As it stands, Arteta has William Saliba (returning from loan), Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and Gabriel Magalhaes as his central defensive options as he looks to recruit White.
Arsenal might want to wrap up a deal for White as soon as they possibly can, with reports of Liverpool and Manchester United also being interested in the Brighton star as well, with the Premier League duo able to boast Champions League football next season, while the Gunners have no European football to offer.