Mikel Arteta and Edu are in talks with a number of players this summer.
But as yet, none have come through the Emirates entrance, with Arsenal fans still waiting for their incoming transfer activity to get under way.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with a trio of players and it looks set to be a very busy summer transfer window for manager Arteta.
One of those expected to sign is Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, in a deal which could rise to £18million, football.london understands.
And that move is edging ever closer, with reports linking the midfield man with a medical at Arsenal’s London Colney training base on Friday.
Sambi Lokonga, who has been on Mikel Arteta’s radar for some time, enjoyed a prosperous 2020/21 season for Anderlecht making 37 appearances, contributing directly towards five goals.
The Belgian youngster was a staple in Vincent Kompany’s side, captaining Anderlecht to a third-place play-off finish in the Jupiler Pro League, before falling at the final hurdle and missing out on European football.
Having guided the Purple and Whites through unprecedented times, Sambi Lokonga won the respect of Belgium National Team manager, Roberto Martinez. He was awarded with a maiden national team call-up in March 2021.
However, despite winning the recognition from his national team manager, Sambi Lokonga is yet to make his international debut.
The Belgium Under-21 international remains fixated on the Gunners’ radar this summer, though, and looks to follow the arrival of Ben White from Brighton. Here is all the latest on the playmaker.
£18m price tag
Should Lokonga swap Lotto Park for the Emirates Stadium, the deal is reported to cost Arsenal €17.5 million with potential add-ons raising the fee to €22 million (£18m), football.london understands. .
The midfielder has agreed personal terms with the Gunners, leaving just the medical to complete before the deal can be verified.
Sambi Lokonga has a fairly clean injury record of late, however the Belgian endured a cruciate ligament rupture in December 2018 missing seven months of football.
Kompany’s verdict on Sambi Lokonga
Meanwhile, Anderlecht and former Man City star Kompany has had some kind words for Sambi Lokonga in recent times, comments which will excite Arsenal fans.
Speaking to Voetbal Belgie, Kompany endorsed his young protege back in February.
“With his qualities at his age, he stands out for me,” Kompany said. “Will Sambi win his duels? Is he improving his defensive work? You ask yourself these questions as a coach. Well, I’ve seen him make a lot of progress in that area.”
In February, Kompany predicted Lokonga could even have a chance of representing Belgium at Euro 2020 and tipped him for a big move in the summer.
Kompany added: “Who knows, Sambi may even make the national selection for the European Championship. It would give him a chance to secure a top transfer in the long term – hopefully not too early.”
Arsenal’s midfield decisions
With Xhaka closing in on a move to AS Roma, football.london understands, Arteta is looking to fill the increasingly growing void in his midfield ahead of next season.
Following in the Switzerland captain’s footsteps, Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard will be leaving Arsenal this summer as their loan agreements come to an end.
Matteo Guendouzi is also set to leave north London this summer having spent the season on loan at Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. The 22-year-old midfielder, who signed for Arsenal in 2018 from FC Lorient, has already agreed personal terms to a move to Olympique Marseille subject to negotiations with Arsenal, report La Provence.
Arteta’s options in midfield are beginning to look thin, however, the Gunners have remained strong in the stance regarding the future of Emile Smith Rowe, who has been subject to a pair of bids from Aston Villa for £25million and £30million.
With Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock returning from their respective loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United, Arteta may not have to look much further than Hale End in the hope of solving his growing crisis in midfield.
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The Gunners seem to have been on the verge of a deal for Lokonga for a number of weeks now.
But, a transfer appears to be imminent if reports coming out of Belgium are to be believed.
The midfielder was reported to have skipped the start of pre-season training with Kompany’s side in order to tie up a move to the Emirates, and the latest suggests he is in England for a medical.
Belgian football journalist Sven Claes is reporting that Lokonga will have his medical on Friday and join up with his new team-mates for their pre-season trip to Scotland next week.
Claes said on Twitter: “Albert Sambi Lokonga is undergoing medical tests today before his transfer to Arsenal. Belgian midfielder will join the Gunners next week on pre-season in Scotland.”