Anderlecht are “convinced” Albert Sambi Lokonga is leaving in the summer transfer window and have identified a replacement for the reported Arsenal target, according to Le Soir.
When it comes to selling exciting young talent to the Premier League, RCS Anderlecht have quite a history.
Romelu Lukaku, Leander Dendoncker and Cheikhou Kouyate all arrived in England from Lotto Park – and Lokonga looks set to ‘strike it rich’ too.
Hugely talented and a natural-born leader at the age of just 21, Lokonga captained Anderlecht throughout the second half of last season. Arsenal are interested as they prepare for life without Granit Xhaka and, potentially, Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Arsenal eye Lokonga as Xhaka replacement
What’s more, Gunners legend Thierry Henry is understood to be encouraging his old employers to make a bid, having been impressed by what he’s seen from Lokonga during his time on the Belgian national team’s coaching staff (Voetbal24).
The youngster, who has been compared to Dortmund enforcer Axel Witsel, is on the stand-by list for Roberto Martinez’s Euro 2020 squad.
And, according to Le Soir, Anderlecht are already putting plans in place for Lokonga’s departure.
A side coached by Vincent Kompany are “convinced” their prized asset is about to leave and have lined up Fausto Vera, of Argentinos Juniors, as his successor.
The report adds Lokonga is also a target for Bayer Leverkusen, Sevilla and a Monaco side that once signed Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht. The Belgian giants hope to raise about £18 million.
Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Ruben Neves, Guido Rodriguez and Yves Bissouma too as Mikel Arteta looks for a midfielder capable of easing the burden on an overworked Thomas Partey in the centre of the Gunners’ spluttering engine room.
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