Arsenal are close to wrapping up their first January signing.
Two of the most important windows in the club’s history – primarily the summer period – await Arsenal as the prepare for a substantial squad overhaul that will see incomings and outgoings aplenty.
It had been widely reported that there were two areas in particular that needed tending to, although the imminent arrival of Omar Rekik is not thought to be considered one of them.
The 18-year-old central defender fits the bill for one of the additions being eyed by Mikel Arteta, although he is not expected to by vying for a spot in the first team.
Rekik was supposed to join Arsenal in the summer after a fee of £900k was agreed with Hertha Berlin, discussions taking place during the loan move which saw Matteo Guendouzi head the other way. However, time ran out to finalise the deal and a January move was penciled in instead.
As per a picture posted on Rekik’s Instagram page, the defender has touched down in London to thrash out all the details of his move (via Metro), one which we now know has been in the offing for months.
Part of Hertha’s youth setup, Rekik has yet to make a senior appearance for the club but has impressed scouts across the continent. His brother Karim recently left the German capital, where he also played, to join Sevilla, with both brothers highly-rated in and out of the country.
Involved in three senior matchday squads at the back end of last season, Rekik hasn’t been included this season, likely due to his impending north London switch. Despite being only 18, the centre-back – who has briefly dabbled in holding midfield – has previously been on the books at Manchester City, Feyenoord, PSV and Marseille.
It’s believed that Per Mertesacker, Arsenal’s Academy Manager, promised the Tunisian international that he would be granted regular first team training upon arrival, a condition that helped persuade him to join.
Although, while Rekik is not due to be involved with the senior setup for competitive fixtures, an immediate loan for the rest of the season is a distinct possibility.
David Luiz is one of three central defenders seeing their contracts run up in the summer, alongside Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi, with moves being made already to sound out replacements for the departing trio.