Mikel Arteta’s personal relationship with Anderlecht boss Vincent Kompany has reportedly helped push their deal for Albert Sambi Lokonga over the line.
Arsenal are on the verge of signing the midfielder for £17million from the Belgian side as he looks to become the Gunners’ first signing of the summer.
Sky Sports claim the North London club have agreed a deal in principle for Lokonga, but they are still to conclude the payment structure of the transfer.
And the report says that Arteta’s friendship with former Manchester City captain Kompany has played a significant role in getting the deal complete.
Kompany, who is now manager of Anderlecht, worked with Arteta at City when he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant.
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The pair have kept in touch since they have both left the Etihad and their relationship has proved fruitful in helping Arsenal strike a deal for Lokonga.
Lokonga should kick start a flurry of additions at Arsenal this summer as the club enter a major rebuild after failing to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years.
The Gunners are set to make a third bid for Brighton defender Ben White after their two initial offers were knocked back.
The Seagulls are willing to part ways with the centre-back if his valuation is met – reported to be £50m.
Arsenal are also close to signing Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares as Arteta looks to provide competition for Kieran Tierney, who was hampered with injuries last term.
All that’s left is for Tavares is to complete his medical after his quarantine period is over as an £8m deal has been struck between both clubs.
In the other direction, Matteo Guendouzi is set to join Marseille on loan, with an obligation to buy, if he makes a certain number of appearances for the Ligue 1 side.
William Saliba is set to join his teammate in the south of France on a season-long loan as Arteta wants the defender to get a full year of first-team football under his belt before the manager integrates him into Arsenal’s plans.
Granit Xhaka’s switch to Roma has gathered some momentum after Switzerland’s exit from Euro 2020, but no agreement is in place yet.