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Ben White: Arsenal agree £50m deal to sign Brighton defender

Arsenal agree deal in principle to sign Brighton defender Ben White; England centre-back is seeking a new challenge and wants to move to Emirates; Arsenal had previous bids of £40m and £47m rejected

Getty: Ben White
Image: Arsenal's efforts to sign Ben White seem to have finally paid off

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Brighton centre-back Ben White for £50m.

Sky Sports News reported Arsenal had a £40m bid rejected in June with another move for a price of £47m subsequently rejected.

But with discussions continuing into July, the two Premier League clubs seem to have reached an agreement on a deal that will see Brighton get a guaranteed £50m from structured payments with no add ons.

Brighton have also inserted a sell-on clause for White, who was selected by Gareth Southgate for England's Euro 2020 campaign.

The 23-year-old is expected to take a medical when he returns from holiday on July 26.

After leaving Southampton in 2014, White secured a move to Brighton and finally made his mark on the south coast following loan spells with Newport County, Peterborough United and Leeds United.

After breaking into the first team at the Amex Stadium he impressed last season in the Premier League in the heart of the defence.

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He also helped Brighton survive relegation and finish 16th in the top flight with the joint-best defence in the bottom half of the league (46 goals conceded).

The Gunners are looking to bolster their defence after finishing eighth in the Premier League and missing out on European football for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

What would White bring to Arsenal?

By Sky Sports' Nick Wright

Arsenal's pursuit of Ben White has caused puzzlement among some supporters. For a side with the third-best defensive record in the Premier League last season, wouldn't £50m be better spent elsewhere?

But for Mikel Arteta, like many coaches in the modern game, a central defender's remit is not simply to keep the ball out of his own net. It is to move it upfield as accurately and effectively as possible, and in doing so become the starting point of the team's attacks.

Arteta regards playing out from the back as a key tenet of his philosophy, but progressing the ball from one end of the pitch to the other has been a persistent problem during his tenure - particularly when he has been without David Luiz, whose departure this summer has left a ball-playing void in the heart of Arsenal's defence.

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Former managers and team-mates chart Ben White's rise through the lower leagues as the defender closes in on a move from Brighton to Arsenal.

Arsenal transfer updates: Bellerin, Lokonga

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has told Arsenal he wants a new challenge.

Talks continue with Inter over a transfer, and while Arsenal want a permanent deal - or at least a loan with an obligation to buy - the Serie A champions prefer a loan with an option to buy.

Bellerin would welcome the move to Italy, and with his Arsenal contract up in 2023, he will not be extending his stay at the Emirates.

The 26-year-old is with the Arsenal squad in Scotland and came off the bench in Tuesday's pre-season defeat at Hibernian.

Albert Sambi Lokonga's move from Anderlecht to Arsenal will be finalised once the player is out of quarantine.

Lokonga is in London after a deal was agreed last week. He will need to take final medical checks before the deal is officially announced, with the fee believed to be around £15m.

Arsenal fixtures 2021/22: Gunners start with Bees & Chelsea

Arsenal Fixtures 2021/22

Arsenal will start their 2021/22 Premier League campaign away at newcomers Brentford on Saturday August 14.

Mikel Arteta's side, who finished a disappointing eighth in the Premier League table, then have a London derby at the Emirates against European champions Chelsea on August 21, before going to current champions Manchester City on August 28.

Arsenal's first north London derby comes on the weekend of September 25 at home to Tottenham, while the return fixture will be on the weekend of January 15 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

You can follow all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms, as well as keeping track of all the developments on Sky Sports News.

New series: Football's Cult Heroes

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Football's Cult Heroes is a new podcast series exploring the stories of players that carried their clubs on their backs - on and off the pitch. Follow on Spotify.

Football's Cult Heroes is a brand new podcast series exploring the stories of the players that carried their clubs on their backs - on and off the pitch.

Told by the players, fans and journalists that were there - we delve into why these players created such a strong bond with their fans and how they are still remembered years on.

Coming up first on Wednesday is Robbie Fowler - The boy from Toxteth who became 'God', featuring interviews with Jason McAteer, John Barnes, Emile Heskey and more.

Follow on Spotify so you can listen to the weekly episodes as soon as they drop.

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Fantasy Football is LIVE!

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