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Arsenal have reportedly made a formal bid to sign Anderlecht star Albert Sambi Lokonga.
The Belgian midfielder, 21, has been linked with a switch to the Emirates this summer and it appears Mikel Arteta has made the first move.
Lokonga is believed to be one of several targets Arteta is looking at to bolster his options ahead of the new season, with Brighton defender Ben White also high up on his shortlist.
Arteta's approach for Lokonga comes amid reports Martin Odegaard will not be released back to Arsenal on loan and will, as expected, be kept at Real Madrid next season.
Arsenal have made a bid for Anderlecht star Albert Sambi Lokonga, reports claim
(Image: Getty Images)
According to The Athletic , the Gunners have made an opening offer of €15million (£12.9m) for Lokonga, though it is thought Anderlecht will not accept it.
The Belgian club are hopeful of raking in a higher fee for the talented prospect, but their own financial limitations means they are open to a sale.
They value Lokonga at closer to €20m (£17.2m), with the difference unlikely to stand in the way of a deal being done between the two clubs.
He is already an established player at Anderlecht under manager and former Manchester City star Vincent Kompany.
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Lokonga made 33 appearances for the his club last season in the Jupiler Pro League alone.
His form even earned him a first call-up to the Belgian national squad by Roberto Martinez and he almost made the cut for the final 26-man selection for Euro 2020, instead being placed on standby.
His style of play and attributes would make him an ideal option for Arteta, as he can play either as a holding midfielder or in a more box-to-box role, which would work well with Arsenal's usual double pivot in the centre of the park.
With Granit Xhaka looking set to depart for Roma and the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira expected to move on, Lokonga would be a solid acquisition.
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Asked about his future just last month, Lokonga said: "I will not go to a club which is inferior to Anderlecht.
“I will only leave Anderlecht if all the ingredients are there.
"Yes, I feel ready to take a step forward and rub shoulders with great players, but everything will depend on the proposals that will be made during this summer.”
Arsenal had already made enquiries to Anderlecht over a possible transfer, but are now looking to get a transfer finalised once they can settle on a fee.
Given his age, Lokonga also represents a sound investment by Arsenal as they look to add quality to Arteta's squad.
Other than White, the club are also chasing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.
Arsenal have already held talks with Wolves over a potential transfer but are yet to go any further.
Meanwhile goalkeeper Andre Onana is also on Arsenal's radar after his UEFA doping ban was reduced to nine months, which will see him back on the field from November.
Onana's contract at Ajax expires next summer but Arsenal are keen to land him for a cut-price fee before then.
Who should Arsenal sign this summer? Have your say below.