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Arsenal transfer round-up as Gunners make Lokonga bid and hold talks with White

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will know his squad requires major changes if they are to rediscover their from and challenge for the European qualification spots again.

The Gunners finished eighth for a second consecutive season under Arteta following their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, which left them dangling in 16th in December.

Arteta’s men recovered well in the second half of the season to claim a spot in the top eight ahead of Aston Villa and Everton.

But with several star names underperforming and a hostile atmosphere with the fans calling on the Kroenkes to sell the club to a new investor, times are tough in north London.

Mikel Arteta will be keen to improve his Arsenal squad after a disappointing domestic campaign

Arteta will be allowed to add to his squad this summer but the Spaniard will be operating on a tight budget following their failure to qualify for Europe.

He must also find replacements for David Luiz and Dani Ceballos, whom have both left the club after struggling in 2020-21.

Here are the latest Arsenal transfer rumours from the Emirates Stadium…

Real to snub Odegaard loan extension

Martin Odegaard remains a top target for Arsenal this summer
Martin Odegaard remains a top target for Arsenal this summer

Should Arsenal go all out to sign Martin Odegaard this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.

One of Arteta’s main priorities is thought to be keeping Martin Odegaard at the club for a second season on loan.

The Norwegian playmaker joined in January on an initial six-month loan deal with no option to buy and scored twice, as well as creating two assists, in his 18 appearances for the club.

Odegaard is Mikel Arteta’s first-choice target in terms of bringing a creative midfielder to north London and the 39-year-old confirmed they would do their utmost to keep him.

Speaking on the final day of the season, Arteta said: “We have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do.

“He’s not our player. We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks, but first of all we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player.

It was believed the 22-year-old was keen to extend his stay in England with opportunities limited at his parent club Real Madrid.

But a change in the dugout has altered the situation for Odegaard after Zinedine Zidane stepped down from his role, with Carlo Ancelotti returning to the club six years after his sacking.

According to The Athletic, Odegaard is poised to stay in the Spanish capital over this summer as Ancelotti wants to run the rule of his current crop of players before making decisions on their future.

But their attempts to convince Los Blancos have fallen on deaf ears and they may have to look at alternative targets such as Real Betis playmaker Nabil Fekir.

Gunners in for Belgian starlet

Albert Sambi Lokonga could replace Granit Xhaka at Arsenal
Albert Sambi Lokonga could replace Granit Xhaka at Arsenal

Arsenal have found a potential replacement for Granit Xhaka after seeing their first bid for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga rejected.

According to Belgian publication Het Laatste Nieuws, the Jupiler Pro outfit have turned down an offer of more than €15m (£12.9m), including bonuses, for the highly-rated midfielder.

Lokonga, 22, was on standby for Belgium’s Euro 2020 squad after catching the eye for Vincent Kompany’s side this season.

Arteta has reportedly lined up the deep-lying operator to fill the void left by Xhaka, who is in advanced talks with Roma over a £15.5m switch.

The 28-year-old has expressed his desire for a new challenge after six years in north London and looks set to complete his move to link up with Jose Mourinho’s Giallorossi side for the 2021-22 campaign.

According to football.london, Lokonga has been impressed onlooking Arsenal scouts with three goals and two assists for the Belgian giants.

Should Arsenal fail to agree a deal for the youngster, they could turn their attention back to Ruben Neves, Sander Berge and Rodrigo De Paul, the trio of midfielders who are also on Arteta’s shortlist.

White keen on Emirates switch

Ben White's meteoric rise has caught the attention of Arsenal
Ben White’s meteoric rise has caught the attention of Arsenal

Ben White could be on his way to north London this summer after it emerged that Arsenal have reportedly held ‘positive talks’ over signing the defender.

White was called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euro 2020 tournament this summer after shining for Brighton.

His performances caught the eye of Manchester United, but according to The Daily Mail, the 23-year-old has his sights set on a switch to the Emirates Stadium.

There is certainly interest from Arsenal’s side to get the deal over the line but with a limited transfer budget, the Gunners have been put off by his £50m price tag.

The Seagulls are determined not to let one of their prized assets leave without their asking price being met.

But White’s desire to move to a bigger club could see the South Coast outfit enter negotiations as Arsenal look to thrash out a deal.



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