Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal agree deal to sign player on 5-year contract, medical soon

By on July 9, 2021

Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Arsenal have finally agreed a deal with Anderlecht to sign Albert Lokonga after the midfielder rejected two rival bids from Italy in favour of a move to London.

We’ve been strongly linked with Lokonga is recent weeks after Mikel Arteta and his team identified the youngster as a transfer target as the boss attempts to revamp his midfield options this summer.

With Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard back at Madrid, Matteo Guendouzi off to Marseille and Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock tipped for moves, Arsenal need to bring in 2-3 midfielders and Lokonga has emerged as a target.

Widespread reports suggest we’ve been locked in negotiations with Anderlecht trying to thrash out a deal and Romano has provided an update today by claiming that an agreement has now been found.

The Guardian journalist says Arsenal will pay £15m [€17.5m] up front with another £3m [€3.5m] in add-ons meaning the entire deal could be worth £18m [€21m] and we’re now finalising the paperwork to conclude the move.

Five-year contract

Romano claims Lokongo will sign a five-year contract having agreed personal terms weeks ago and Belgian outlet HLN says the midfielder will undergo his medical tests today and/or tomorrow.

Goal’s Charles Watts is also reporting that a deal has been agreed in principal and that Lokonga is expected to have his medical in Belgium ‘soon’ – although Watts doesn’t see the player travelling on our pre-season tour of Scotland next week as he’ll need to isolate when he arrives in England.

So it looks as though this deal is extremely close to being wrapped-up and Lokonga is expected to be joined by Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares as becoming Arsenal’s first two new signings of the summer window.

Lokonga is one of the most highly-rated youngsters in Belgian football and should prove to be an excellent addition to the squad if he settles well and continues to develop under Arteta in north London.

The 22-year-old is a powerful midfielder who is known for his passing range and ability to carry the ball forward from deep areas, so he might be viewed as a long-term partner for Thomas Partey in the middle of the park.