Duncan Castles gives update on Arsenal bid to sign Brighton defender Ben White

Arsenal remain interested in a deal to sign Brighton defender Ben White this summer, according to Duncan Castles

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: YouTube)

Arsenal have so far fallen short of Brighton’s valuation in their bid to sign Ben White this summer, according to Duncan Castles.

The north London side have been heavily linked with a move to bring the 23-year-old England defender to The Emirates in recent days as they look to strengthen their options at the back ahead of next season.

White, who is currently on international duty with England at Euro 2020, has been touted as one of Arsenal’s top defensive targets this summer as Mikel Arteta aims to bolster his squad.

The centre-half was a mainstay in the Brighton team last season as he made 36 appearances in the Premier League for the Seagulls.

Widespread reports in the British media in recent days have suggested that Arsenal have firmed up their interest in White by making a concrete offer to land the defender.

Now, however, journalist Castles has revealed that one of the sticking points in a potential deal for White is the structuring of payments to be made by the north London club.

Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast on 25 June, Castles said: “We told you a couple of weeks ago that Arsenal were strongly interested in Ben White.

“[They have] a stronger interest, according to people close to him, than Manchester United have.

“They have made a formal offer this week. That offer I understand is £45m guaranteed with £5m in what should be achievable performance-related payments.

“There is an issue with it in that similar to a lot of transfer fees that Arsenal have set up in recent seasons. They only want to pay a relatively small proportion of that fee in the first summer.

“My understanding is they’ve offered a £12m immediate payment this summer with the rest of the £45m being staged over the course of White’s contract.

“My understanding is Brighton have rejected the offer. They feel it is insufficient for a player of White’s quality and status.

“When we talked in the podcast about the interest in White, we did say Brighton would want over £50m for the player and his valuation had increased because he had been included in England’s Euro squad as well as being told by Gareth Southgate that he is an important member of the squad.

“Arsenal aren’t that far away. I understand Arsenal will hold a board meeting [on Friday] where they’ll discuss the outcome of the meetings with Brighton and discuss whether they can put together an improved offer that would be sufficient to satisfy Brighton’s owner Tony Bloom.

“You can see that involving an increased immediate payment and better add-ons or sell-on clause given White is just 23.”

Arsenal finished in eighth place and without a trophy last season under Arteta.

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