Brighton defender Ben White has reportedly revealed to his England colleagues at the European Championship that he will play for Arsenal next season.
The Gunners have been linked with swoop for the 23-year-old all summer. It was suggested earlier this week that personal terms have been sorted out. All that is left is for the clubs to agree a price and that should happen sooner rather than later.
The centre-back’s stock rose considerably during last season when he shone at the back for the Seagulls. It was a tough campaign for Graham Potter’s men and they were under pressure for most of 2020-2021.
But White stood firm at the heart of the rearguard as the Amex Stadium outfit finished in 16th spot in the standings. Unsurprisingly, a few clubs took note, with the north London giants the most prominent.
But there was also interest for Everton. However, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, the Poole-born stopper is eager to move to the Emirates.
Speaking on The Football Terrace, he said, “Ben White really wants this move even though there was a bit of late interest from Everton.
“The defender has his heart set on a move to the Emirates, I think he wants to stay down south predominantly as well so that puts Arsenal in a real good position to finalise this move.”
White excited by Arsenal move The former Southampton youth star has played just one season in the Premier League. He excelled while on loan with Leeds United in 2019-2020 and helped the Whites achieve promotion to the top flight.
The youngster has also enjoyed loan stints with Newport County and Peterborough United. But he slipped seamlessly into the role of a Premier League defender last term.
England came calling as he featured in the two Euro 2020 warm-up games against Austria and Romania. He was cut from the squad but called up as a replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
He has yet to kick a ball for the Three Lions en route to the final but has been vocal about his career move.
“He’s been telling some of his England teammates that the deal is pretty much done,” O’Rourke added. “He expects to be an Arsenal player at the start of next season.”
Mikel Arteta is looking for a new defender to partner either Gabriel or Rob Holding. Arsenal will need to dig deep as a fee in excess of £50m has been mooted.
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