According to various reports, Arsenal are on the verge of signing Brighton defender Ben White in a deal that could be worth up to £50 million.
Writing for The Athletic, David Ornstein reports that ‘face-to-face’ talks have been held between the relevant parties and while personal terms are yet to be agreed, they are unlikely to be a stumbling block given we’re the type of club that merrily hands out £250,000 a week contracts to 32-year-old midfielders.
Despite Arsenal opting not to extend David Luiz’s contract, news of the Gunners’ interest in White came as a surprise when it leaked a couple of weeks ago.
Not only do we still have William Saliba on the books, but it was also assumed that having pleaded poor due to Covid, and having sacked a load of staff in the midst of a pandemic, we might not have too much cash to play with this summer. Especially given our failure to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years.
We can only speculate at this point how the deal is being funded. It’s possible we’re confident of selling a lot of the fringe players, our owners could be putting their hands in their pockets (stop laughing at the back) or we might be speculating against future earnings by using loan interest rate loans. Who knows, maybe it’s a combination of all three?
This is definitely a statement purchase but we can’t help feel a little uneasy about spending so much on a 23-year-old centre-back when we obviously need to fill several other key positions if we’re to provide a credible threat to the sides who finished above us last season. Presumably, we have a plan.
White, who’ll count as homegrown, is currently on international duty with England at the European Championship so we expect a formal announcement won’t be forthcoming until Germany knock out Southgate’s men on Tuesday.