Ben White will move to the capital to join up with Arsenal next season
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Arsenal and Brighton have finally reached an agreement for the transfer of England defender Ben White.
White is one of Arsenal’s main targets this summer and a fee of around £50 million is believed to have been agreed after weeks of negotiations.
Telegraph Sport reported last month that a deal was edging closer but White’s involvement in the England squad is understood to have slowed down the process.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen his defence following the departure of David Luiz at the end of last season, with White identified as a versatile, ball-playing option.
White’s form for Brighton earned him a surprise call-up to the England’s 26-man squad for the Euros, although he did not feature in the tournament.
Provided there are no issues with White’s medical, the defender is set to become the third most expensive player in Arsenal’s history. Only striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who cost £57m, and forward Nicolas Pepe, who cost £72m, have been signed for more.
The move represents another step up for White, who has worked his way up through the divisions in recent seasons. He enjoyed successful loan spells at Newport County in League Two and Peterborough United in League One before excelling at Leeds United in the 2019/20 season.
The pursuit of White comes as Arsenal allowed French centre-back William Saliba to join Marseille on loan for the upcoming campaign. Saliba is still regarded as a player for the future, while White is seen as a ready-made option in the centre of defence. White can also play in midfield or at right-back.
Arsenal have already completed the signing of left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica for around £8m and are set to confirm the arrival of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, for a fee of around £15m, in the coming days.