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Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga ‘close’ to completing summer loan move to Sevilla

Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga during his loan at Luton
Albert Sambi Lokonga is closing in on a loan move from Arsenal to Sevilla (Picture: Getty)

Out-of-favour Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga is on the verge of joining Sevilla in a season-long loan deal this summer.

Lokonga swapped Anderlecht for Arsenal in July 2021 for a fee of around £17million and went on to make 24 appearances for the north London giants in his debut season at the Emirates.

But Lokonga has failed to nail down a starting role under Mikel Arteta and spent the second half of the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Crystal Palace before completing a temporary switch to Luton in search of regular game-time last term.

Lokonga’s spell with Luton was largely deemed to have been a success, despite the club’s relegation from the Premier League, but Arsenal are keen for the Belgium international to go out on loan for a third time and it appears a move is on the cusp of being finalised.

According to Spanish publication Marca, Lokonga has his heart set on joining Sevilla next season and the 24-year-old is ‘close’ to becoming the club’s second signing of the summer transfer window after Chidera Ejuke arrived from CSKA Moscow last month.

It’s claimed Sevilla have been working on a temporary deal to secure Lokonga’s services ‘for some time’ and have managed to persuade Arsenal to lower their demands regarding an obligation to buy the midfielder at the end of next season.

Lokonga will therefore arrive in Seville on loan with an option to buy, with the price of a permanent agreement still being discussed. It’s unlikely the La Liga outfit will be able to purchase the Belgian outright, though, given their financial situation.

Albert Sambi Lokonga
The Belgium midfielder is keen to push through a move to Seville (Picture: Getty)

Sevilla chief Victor Orta spent six years as Leeds’ sporting director and managed to build up a network of contacts – both players and agents – which he is now using to his advantage in his native Spain.

Midway through last season, Orta facilitated a deal for Manchester United’s Hannibal Mejbri, who struggled to make an impact before returning to Old Trafford. It’s hoped Lokonga will fare better than the young Tunisian during his stay in Seville.

Lokonga – who was left out of Belgium’s squad for this summer’s European Championship – is tied into a deal with Arsenal until 2026.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this summer, Lokonga confirmed that it was likely he would be on his way out of Arsenal before the 2024/25 campaign gets underway.

‘I had a discussion with Arsenal and the conclusion was the best thing for me was to leave the club,’ he explained.

‘Now it’s up to my agent and the club to find something.

‘I still have a contract there, one year plus a one-year option so let’s see what happens.’

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