Arsenal supporters will be delighted to hear the update on a deal for Ben White from freelance journalist Peter O’Rourke, who appeared on the latest episode of the Football Terrace podcast with Terry Flewers.
O’Rourke has confirmed the suggestions that a transfer is close to being finalised, with the journalist believing that there will be movement ‘later this week or the start of next week’.
This comes after the Evening Standard reported that the Gunners will step up their efforts to seal the signing after White’s participation with England at the Euros came to an end.
O’Rourke and the Standard insist that personal terms will not be an issue, and that seems to be the case with transfer insider Fabrizio Romano actually reporting that they’ve been agreed with White already.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal fans will love the fact that O’Rourke mentioned that the centre-back ‘wants to become an Arsenal player’, especially after interest from Everton and talk of a hijack from Chelsea.
Here is what O’Rourke had to say on the status of a deal for White:
“Yeah, no issues on this one, this one will really speed up now England and the Euros are finished. Ben White was obviously away representing his country so no deal could happen there.”
“Now the tournament is over, Ben White will probably want to try and get this move tied up before he goes away on a break. I can see something happening with Ben White later this week or the start of next week.”
“Arsenal are pretty confident that they’ve done enough to get this deal done, convinced the player of the project that Mikel Arteta is trying to work on at the Emirates – so Ben White is seemingly fully on board with that. He wants to become an Arsenal player, despite interest from other clubs.”
“Everton showed an interest, there was even talk that Chelsea were going to hijack this deal as well, but I think Arsenal are so far advanced in this one, personal terms won’t be an issue.”
“It’s just trying to sort out the fee with Brighton, but I think Brighton will reluctantly agree to probably selling Ben White for between £50m to £55m with add-ons.”
“A great opportunity for Ben White to go to Arsenal and try to help them get back in among the top four, and try and boost his chances of breaking into that England team, never mind the squad, build on what he’s done in the last 18 months or so.”
White broke into the England squad this summer, featuring in the Three Lions’ pre-Euros friendlies, doing enough to win a spot in the squad for the tournament, though he never appeared.
The 6ft ace, who primarily features at centre-back but has also looked solid when called on as a defensive midfielder, burst onto the scene after a stellar loan spell with Leeds in the 19/20 season.
White built on that momentum as he returned to Brighton last season, the 23-year-old has now established himself as one of the best young defenders in England.
Arsenal need to drastically improve in the heart of defence before next season, they’ve still got a large number of options to call on at centre-back, but their current bunch clearly aren’t up to the task of pushing the Gunners back towards contention for the Champions League spots.