Manchester United and Chelsea have been informed they missed out on a summer agreement to acquire Brighton and England defender Ben White.
The gifted centre-back seems ready to move from the south coast to north London after a £50million agreement with Arsenal. White will join fellow new guys Nuno Tavares and Albert Sangi Lokonga at the Emirates, where Mikel Arteta’s side are set to have a busy summer.
Arteta has targeted improving his team’s defense in particular, with White expected to replace David Luiz after the Brazilian’s release.
Liverpool and Tottenham first expressed an interest in signing the former Leeds loanee. United, Chelsea, and Arsenal all quickly followed. However, it is the latter who have succeeded in acquiring the player with their third bid.
Danny Murphy, a former Liverpool player, believes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Thomas Tuchel lost a trick by failing to recruit the 23-year-old.
“Ultimately, as a player, you can only make a decision based on the opportunity in front of you,” he told talkSPORT.
“If I were Ben White, I would join Arsenal. They are the ones who will succeed me, and it is a step up; it is a large club.
“Yes, there is a risk in terms of whether they will improve on last season’s performance and whether Mikel Arteta can improve that squad. However, he has clearly persuaded him on that, and he now feels desired.
“This is a tremendous opportunity, as he will play every week. It’s an excellent atmosphere in which to play football, much better than Brighton.
Arsenal may finish in the top four
“Is this a step forward in his career? Indeed, it is. It’s easy to look back at last season and conclude that Arsenal will be uncompetitive this season. However, they have a chance to finish in the top four next season.
“You can only transfer to a club that wishes to have you. I agree that his talent and potential are very high. I’m shocked that neither Manchester United nor Chelsea have made an approach for him.”
With the additions of Tavares and Lokonga and the impending signing of White, Arsenal’s emphasis is likely to shift to increased outgoings.
Marseille have previously loaned out William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are also likely to make their way to the club in the coming weeks.
The Gunners return to play on Sunday in the Florida Cup against Inter Milan.