Arsenal are reported to have agreed a deal to sign promising Hertha Berlin defender Omar Rekik on January 1 – but doubts remain over where the defender will spend the rest of the season.
The 18-year-old is seen as one of African’s brightest talents and almost signed for the Gunners over the summer.
While yet to make his debut for Hertha, the Gunners have been tracking his development for some time. Indeed. they came close to signing him in the summer, only for time to beat them.
Since then, interest has emerged in the left-side centre-half from a number of top European suitors.
However, according to football.london, Mikel Arteta and Co have now won the race for Rekik. It’s believed the Tunisian will sign a long-term deal at Arsenal from January 1.
Nonetheless, there remains some unanswered questions about what will happen next with the teenager.
According to reports, Rekik has been assured by Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker that he will get to train regularly with the first team when he joins.
However, Arteta and technical director Edu are of the mind to allow Rekik to complete the season at Hertha.
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Gunners need to avoid Saliba repeat
It’s understood no immediate decision has been made on the player and Arsenal will decide in the next few weeks what to do.
The Gunners benefited from allowing another promising defender William Saliba to also see out the season at his former club, St Etienne.
That deal has since turned a little sour with Arsenal failing to have a future plan in place and leaving Saliba kicking his heels. Talks are ongoing over a potential loan exit in January for the Frenchman in an effort to safeguard his future.
As such, Arsenal now know the importance of having a structured plan in place for young, overseas imports.
Nonetheless, Arsenal will be happy to have the race for a defender they have long been tracking.
The signing follows a long list of players Arsenal have added to their Under-23’s set-up in recent months.
Mertesacker’s crop have also added Nikolaj Moller (Malmo) and Jonathan Dinzeyi (Tottenham). Tim Akinola (Huddersfield), George Lewis (Fram Larvik), Joel Ideho (Ajax U18) and Catalin Cirjan have also joined.
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