Sacha Tavolieri reports that a meeting took place on Wednesday at Burnley’s headquarters to sort out personal terms for Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Tavolieri adds that the deal is getting closer, with just the final details to agree.
Elsewhere, Chris Wheatley writes that the loan move is edging closer, with the deal including an option to buy which will become an obligation if Lokonga reaches a certain number of games played.
Lokonga has reportedly already spoken to Burnley boss Vincent Kompany about the move, and he’s expected to play a key role for the side. Arsenal will not stand in his way, provided their terms are met.
Plenty of sources have confirmed Burnley’s interest in Lokonga, though The Athletic reported earlier this week that a move was on hold as the newly-promoted club looked to finalise other deals ahead of bringing in the Arsenal man.
Perhaps Wednesday’s meeting with Lokonga’s camp could suggest a shift in focus to that loan deal now, with the new season fast approaching.
Lokonga returned to training with Arsenal this week after an injury absence during the early stages of pre-season, so he should be fit to make the move.
Arsenal haven’t been averse to a loan with an obligation to buy in the past, as we’ve seen with the likes of David Ospina and Pablo Mari.
Mari signed for AC Monza on an initial loan last summer, but the Serie A club had an obligation to buy if they avoided relegation and he made a certain number of appearances.
After hitting both of those targets, Mari’s deal to move to Italy permanently was quickly finalised.
Speaking in an earlier interview on YouTube, Lokonga hinted that he could make a summer move away from Arsenal in search of minutes.
“I don’t know, I will try to go somewhere I will play,” Lokonga said of his plans for next season. “That’s the most important thing, to have some games and play game after game.”
Arsenal signed Lokonga from Anderlecht for around £15m plus add-ons in 2021.