Arsenal accidentally unveil first January signing after he's spotted in training
Arsenal are set to finally announce the transfer of Hertha Berlin centre-back Omar Rekik after the teenage defender was spotted in training with the club’s Under-23 side.
The Gunners agreed a fee worth around £900,000 with the Bundesliga side on deadline day of the summer transfer window as part of the talks that saw Matteo Guendouzi move to the German capital on loan.
However, Arsenal ran out of time to rubberstamp the deal and have had to wait until January to complete the final paperwork, with the fee now believed to have been negotiated down to £542,000.
The 19-year-old fuelled speculation that an announcement was imminent when he shared an image on Instagram of him touching down in London last month.
And it appears Rekik has been taking part in training with Arsenal’s development squad since then, with the youngster pictured in the background of an image of the Under-23s practicing on Wednesday.
Arsenal are thought to be taking a closer look at Rekik before deciding whether to loan him out this month – potentially back to Hertha – or keep him at the club.
Football.London previously reported that academy manager Per Mertesacker had promised the teenager regular participation in training with the first team, though regular game time may be more beneficial.
Although Rekik made Hertha Berlin’s matchday squad on three occasions at the end of last season, he never made a senior appearance for the first team.
He has spent the first half of the 2020/21 season playing for the Bundesliga side’s youth team, likely due to his impending move to Arsenal, and is highly regarded at the club.
Rekik has previously been on the books of Manchester City, Feyenoord, PSV and Marseille, following his older brother Karim to each country – though he recently left Hertha too to join Sevilla.
The teenager is seen as a signing for the future and it could be a while before he’s seen in an Arsenal shirt, though the Gunners do hope to reinforce their first-team by bringing in a new creative midfielder.
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