Arsenal have been knocked back by Anderlecht with an opening offer of more than €15m rejected for highly regarded midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga. The Belgian side are holding out for more.
It may have felt like the summer transfer window has been active for months but less than one week into it opening Arsenal are moving closer to making their first acquisition. They’re not there yet, however.
Midfield is set for an almighty gutting with a total makeover seeing anywhere up to five of the six on the books departing. Granit Xhaka is inching closer to Roma, so too Matteo Guendouzi to Marseille, and Lucas Torreira will join them…somewhere. Joe Willock may go at the right price and if an upgrade can be sourced, Mohamed Elneny could bid farewell.
Mikel Arteta needs reinforcements. Not just first team starters but indeed bodies to come and fill the numbers, develop at the club and compete for a starting berth. Albert Sambi Lokonga fits that profile.
Arsenal offered more than €15m (bonuses included). The Belgian club are hoping for €20m.#AFC
(With @PJCalcoen / @hlnsport)
👉🏼 https://t.co/76KYaeFvj1 pic.twitter.com/fff5NM0DFO
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 15, 2021
Arsenal have €15m Albert Lokonga bid rejected by Anderlecht with Belgian side chasing €20m in summer transfer window
The Anderlecht midfielder is only 21 years old but already been handed the captain’s armband by Vincent Kompany, and is on the standby list for Belgium’s exceptionally talented Euro 2020 squad.
Listed as someone the club have been taking a close look at, further reports in England added that the Gunners have been watching Lokonga for a number of years, enamoured by his style of potential. They’ve finally put their money where their mouth is.
As per the ever-reliable Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur of HLN and picked up by The Athletic, Arsenal offered ‘more than €15m’ with bonuses included but have seen that bid knocked back.
That offer has been rejected with the Belgian side hoping for €20m worth of guaranteed money. With Arsenal’s first bid it’s unsure how much was upfront and just how probable said bonuses were to coming to fruition.
The other reason that Anderlecht turned down the Gunners’ offer is because of the interest elsewhere. Lokonga is courted by sides across Europe, with particular interest from France and Germany. The 34-time Belgian title winners are confident of getting the fee they’re after.
However, he will be departing. The 21-year-old is listed as ‘inevitable’ to leave a club who are resigned to his sale. They understand he is one of the finest midfield talents in the country and if their valuation is met then they will be happy to sanction his sale.
Will Arsenal come back with another bite of the cherry and can they be successful, though?