According to The Athletic, Arsenal are moving closer to acquiring the signature of England international Ben White.
Brighton are holding out for a fee of £50 million while the Gunners are only willing to offer £45 million, with £5 million on add ons.
The 23-year-old center-back was Mikel Arteta’s first-choice, alongside Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba.
However, as soon as the Gunners learned those two deals would not be viable, they moved in quickly for the former Leeds United man. And now there is feeling inside both the Arsenal and Brighton camps that a deal for Ben White can be concluded imminently.
🚨 Arsenal moving closer to agreement with Brighton for Ben White. #BHAFC want guaranteed ~£50m, #AFC offering ~£45m + £5m. Face-to-face talks have taken place & negotiations continue over add-ons, payment structure etc. No other bidders yet @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/x9fJEUSMZ3
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 24, 2021
Since being released by Premier League club Southampton in 2014, White has sporadically made his way up to the echelons of English football.
Brighton acquired him in 2014 when he was just 16. What followed was a year of maturation with The Seagulls’ development squad.
In 2017/18, he officially started his career in men’s football, making a loan switch to League Two side Newport County. In the following two seasons, he continued his gradual evolution as an England international with temporary spells at League One and Championship with Peterborough United and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United respectively.
He then entered the Premier League scene, appearing 36 times for Graham Potter’s men last season. As a consequence of his performances, White attracted the attention of some heavyweight clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United, and even Paris Saint-Germain.
However, David Ornstein stated that other clubs were under the impression that White was joining Arsenal. Thus, no formal bids came forward other than Arsenal’s.
The news worried some section of the Arsenal fans who now fear the worst for William Saliba. The North London outfit splashed £27 million on the then 18-year-old in 2019, only to send him out on loan for two successive seasons.
The supporters major concern with White’s acquisition is that they think the young Frenchman could be moved on as a result. Keeping Saliba and the emotional baggage to one side, acquiring the services of White shows the ambition of the club in the current shop window.
Personal Viewpoint regarding Ben White moving to Arsenal:
If signing Ben White doesn’t limit Saliba’s opportunities at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal next season, then I am all for it. Several reports have already stated that the 20-year-old is considering his options, with a loan looking like a probable outcome.
However, it will not be beyond the realms of imagination that Saliba is handed the chances from the get-go. Gabriel is set to miss the start of the campaign with his participation in the Olympic Games for Brazil.
Saliba has already shown his versatility by playing the majority of games as a left center-back for Nice as well as St. Etienne.
I am just hopeful that the Frenchman is given chances by Mikel Arteta, as it is no secret that he has the potential to become one of the best center-backs in the world.