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Transfer fee revealed as Arteta confirms first January signing for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal have all-but secured the signing of promising young defender Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin – their first business of the January transfer window.

The 19-year-old has yet to play a first-team game for Hertha but was a standout player at youth level. He has been a regular for the German club’s Under-19 side over the past two seasons.

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Having made the first-team bench three times last term, the Tunisia Under-18 star has played for Hertha’s reserves in 2020-21.

However, the Gunners have been keeping a close eye on his progress and the player is expected to be confirmed an Arsenal player later on Thursday, or possibly Friday. The Tunisian U18 international is understood to have cost a fee of £540,000, reports Bild.

The player is not expected to be first-team ready for some time for Arsenal and has already trained with their U23s squad.

Confirming his arrival in Thursday’s presser to preview the FA Cup tie with Newcastle, Arteta proclaimed his happiness at the deal.

“We will announce it when we possibly can.

“He’s a young talent we’ve been following for a while that we believe has a right future,” said Arteta.

“But we will give more details when we can.


“Yes [the news will be soon]. [Today?] I don’t know. Very soon.”

Arsenal academy coach Per Mertesacker is thought to have played a big part in securing Rekik’s signature.

As per football.London, he plans to take a look at his new charge before deciding on the next course of action. Indeed, the Gunners could look to loan back to Hertha rather than see out the season with their U23s. Rekik could even make his senior debut with the Bundesliga side before the season is out, were he to return.

The centre-half was born in Holland but has chosen to represent Tunisia – where his father was born – at international level.

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Arteta hoping Saliba loan works out

One player who will definitely have an immediate future away from Arsenal is William Saliba. The young defender joined Ligue 1 side Nice on loan this week.

The move should give the 19-year-old, who joined Arsenal in July 2019, more playing time. His only two games this term came in the EFL Trophy – and he was sent off in one of them.

Arteta added: “It has been difficult months for him to cope with the situation. But I see the development he has made and the progression he has shown over the months and now he is ready to compete.

“He is going to a really strong league, a league he knows well and he has experience (of), and needs to play as many games as possible to be ready for us next season.”

READ MORE: Arteta hints at Ozil decision after taking responsibility for Arsenal snub


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