Later News Jul 18

EPL transfer tattle: White set to replace Luiz at Arsenal, Giroud brings his good looks to Italy

Arsenal are reportedly on the brink of signing England defender Ben White for a tidy sum of £50m (S$93.5m) from Brighton & Hove Albion.


The signing of White, 23, will represent a significant change in transfer strategy for the Gunners, who previously preferred to bring in first-class comedians disguised as defenders such as Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz and Sead Kolasinac.


White, however, is regarded as a promising and talented young centre-back who impressed enough to be called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euro 2020, although he failed to make a single appearance for the Three Lions.


WATCH: White cried for an hour after England call-up


Mikel Arteta, who led Arsenal to an eighth-place finish last season, is eager to bolster his defence following the departure of Luiz, who left the club after his contract expired at the end of last season – Arsenal, it is understood, chose not to renew his deal as they were keen to have their upcoming Amazon “All or Nothing” series remain a documentary, instead of a stand-up comedy routine.


The arrival of White could not come any earlier for Arteta and Arsenal, who once again failed to secure victory in their pre-season friendly as they drew 2-2 against Scottish champions Rangers last evening (SGT).


Arsenal suffered a 2-1 defeat to Hibernian previously despite fielding the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe. They even boasted a numerical advantage on the pitch, with Willian and his three-month old foetus also featuring in the game.


Arteta’s men came close to losing by the same scoreline again yesterday, and needed Eddie Nketiah’s late goal to salvage a draw against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers team. Arsenal's new signing, full-back Nuno Tavares, however, did get on the scoresheet.


WATCH: Tavares talks about scoring for Arsenal


Despite failing to get a win in their trip to Scotland – Arsenal will now travel to the United States for a pre-season tournament – Arteta insisted he was pleased with what he saw from his players, especially in the game against Rangers.



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“It's been really good. We created so many chances but we are not converting enough,” said Arteta. “Today, we should've scored many more goals and with the quality of the players we have up front, they have to demand much more of themselves. 


“But at least we are getting there, the process is becoming much clearer, much better. Without the ball as well, we worked really hard and were really efficient. We won a lot of balls in the final third so there are a lot of positives to take.”


Meanwhile, at the West side of London, the halls of Stamford Bridge have taken a markedly uglier turn, as perennial English Premier League (EPL) eye candy Olivier Giroud has decided to depart Chelsea for AC Milan.


The 34-year-old striker, who has spent nearly a decade in England since joining Arsenal in 2012, will join Milan for a fee understood to be close to £855,000 – a mere pittance, considering Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has been known to be able to wring money from a rock, although she has yet to crack the shiny piece of platinum that is Daniel Levy.


WATCH: Giroud's top-5 goals for Chelsea


While never really establishing himself as a first-teamer for Chelsea, and despite the insult of being behind Timo Werner in the pecking order, Giroud has been a crowd favourite at the Blues.


After all, the France World Cup winner has been something of a lucky charm for Chelsea, having helped them to a FA Cup, a Europa League title, and more significantly, last season’s Champions League.


Giroud tweeted: “To all the Blues, to my team mates, to all my coaches, to the whole club, a huge thank you for these special moments.


“I'm starting a new journey with a light and happy heart. Our victories in the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League have been magnificent.”