Arsenal confirm Nuno Tavares signing for £6.8m with Lokonga deal close

Arsenal confirm Nuno Tavares signing for £6.8m with Lokonga deal close

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of the left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica. The 21-year-old is the club’s first arrival of the summer in a deal worth €8m (£6.8m) plus add-ons.

Tavares’s purchase is due to be followed by that of the midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht. Arsenal have agreed to pay €17.5m plus add-ons that could take the fee for the Belgian to about €21m.

Tavares has made 30 appearances for Benfica and was warmly welcomed by Mikel Arteta. “He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s,” Arsenal’s manager said. “Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch.”

Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, made it clear that Tavares had been signed as an understudy to Kieran Tierney, saying the player would “provide strong back-up in the left-back position”.

The Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín is of interest to Internazionale as they seek a replacement for Achraf Hakimi, who has joined Paris Saint-Germain. Talks are not at an advanced stage, though, with Arsenal’s preference being a sale rather than a loan with an option to buy. Inter’s shortlist also includes Atalanta’s Hans Hateboer.