Ben White: Arsenal in advanced talks for Brighton defender

Arsenal are in advanced talks with Brighton over the signing of defender Ben White.

Sky Sports News reported Arsenal had a £40m bid rejected last week and discussions are continuing over a deal that could be worth £50m.

Negotiations are centred on the structure of payments and personal terms are not expected to be a problem, as all parties are hopeful a deal can be completed.

  • Arsenal’s summer transfer plans analysed
  • Arsenal interested in Sheff Utd’s Aaron Ramsdale
  • Arsenal fixtures: Premier League 2021/22

White, who is predominantly a centre-back but can also provide cover in midfield, made 36 Premier League appearances for Brighton last season after spending the 2019/20 season on loan at Leeds.

He impressed as Brighton survived relegation and finished 16th in the Premier League with the joint-best defence in the bottom half of the league as they conceded 46 goals.


White earned his first England call-up in May when he was named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2020 and made his full international debut in a warm-up match against Austria.

He was originally left out of Southgate’s 26-man squad, but later replaced the injured Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold after he suffered a thigh problem in a warm-up match against Austria.

White, Ramsdale interest suggests defensive priority for Arsenal

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

“Arsenal had the third-best defensive record in the Premier League last season, conceding just 39 goals across their 38 fixtures, but their interest in White and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale suggests Mikel Arteta regards defensive improvement as a priority this summer.

“The Gunners do look light at centre-back following David Luiz’s departure. William Saliba is due to return from his loan spell with Nice ahead of the new campaign and will hope to compete for a place in the side but Arteta evidently feels an external solution is required.

“White impressed for Brighton during his first season in the top flight, starting all but two of their Premier League fixtures and at times featuring in central midfield. The 23-year-old’s performances earned him a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad.

“White’s ball-playing ability and age make him an enticing proposition for Arsenal and they doubtless see similar qualities in Ramsdale.

“The goalkeeper, also 23 and also called up to the England squad this week, showed his potential during a difficult season with Sheffield United and is comfortable playing out from the back.

“Arsenal’s interest in Ramsdale may cast doubt on Bernd Leno’s future. Together with the club’s pursuit of White, it also shows Arteta wants a defensive refresh as a priority.”

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

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.

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