It looks like Arsenal’s first major signing of the summer may be close.
Arsenal are edging closer to an agreement with Anderlecht for the signing of Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, according to The Athletic.
Anderlecht are reportedly looking for £17.2million to part with Lokonga, after Arsenal saw an opening bid of around £12.9million rejected. Since then, it appears talks have intensified and the two clubs are closing in on an agreement.
Captain for Anderlecht, Lokonga is very highly rated and viewed as a central midfield option for Arsenal, after they let Dani Ceballos return from loan to Real Madrid.
Interestingly in The Athletic’s report, they note that Arsenal have done significant ‘homework’ on Lokonga. Arteta is said to be well connected with Vincent Kompany and Roberto Martinez. This duo are currently the players club and country manager.
It appears Arsenal were impressed with what they heard back about both Lokonga’s ability and character.
Lokonga is predominantly a holding midfielder but can play as a box-to-box player too. He scored 3 goals and made 2 assists in the Belgian league last season.
He averages over 1 shot (1.2) per game and 0.9 key passes per 90, highlighting that he does have some offensive output.