Arsenal reach agreement to sign Benfica defender Nuno Tavares

Nuno Tavares is set to join Arsenal
Nuno Tavares is set to join Arsenal / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Arsenal have reached an agreement with Benfica to sign left-back Nuno Tavares this summer.

The Gunners are on the lookout for somebody to compete with Kieran Tierney, who recently signed a new five-year deal, and their interest in 21-year-old Tavares came to light on Monday.

Benfica were expected to hold out for a fee of close to £15m, but according to Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have agreed a deal which will see them snap up Tavares for an initial £7m, not including bonuses and add-ons.

Personal terms were not a problem for Arsenal, who have agreed a five-year contract with Tavares and have already confirmed those details with his agent, whose fees have also been agreed upon.

Tavares is yet to put pen to paper, but all the signs suggest he will be the next signing of the Mikel Arteta era.

Nuno Tavares
Tavares will compete with Tierney / Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

The Portugal youth international made 25 appearances in all competitions last season, playing primarily as a traditional full-back but shifting further up the field when needed, and Arsenal see him as capable of competing with Tierney as soon as he arrives.

With a deal for Tavares now all but finalised, Arsenal can continue to push ahead with moves for other targets. A £50m deal for Brighton centre-back Ben White is in the offing, while the Gunners remain keen to get a deal done for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Arsenal failed with a £13m bid for the 21-year-old, but Romano adds that they have upped their offer to £15m, with an extra £3.5m in add-ons.

Albert Sambi Lokonga
Arsenal are keen on Sambi Lokonga too / BSR Agency/Getty Images

Initial reports suggested Anderlecht were looking for a deal which would guarantee them £17m, so this bid may be enough to get things done if Arsenal's add-ons are realistic.

There is the small matter of a sell-on clause to negotiate as well. Anderlecht want Arsenal to agree to hand them 15% of any future sale of Lokonga, which has contributed to the delay in negotiations.

Lokonga and Tavares could be two of five major signings the Gunners are said to be targeting. 90min revealed earlier this month that Arsenal are willing to spend up to £250m on a handful of new players this summer, with that transfer budget funded largely by the club but also topped up by the departure of some fringe players.

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