Arsenal are set to sign Omar Rekik, a promising young central defender, from Hertha Berlin for £542,000 in January, according to German media outlet Bild via football.london.
The Gunners came close to signing the 19-year-old centre back in the closing stages of the summer transfer window but were unable to get the deal over the line. They have reignited their interest in the player and are set to welcome him to the Emirates soon. There is a chance he could be loaned back to Hertha Berlin as per the terms of the deal.
The Netherlands-born defender has represented the Tunisian Under-21 team. He has played for clubs like Feyenoord, Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven and Marseille at the youth level. He attracted interest from a number of European sides but has chosen to move to North London. Academy manager Per Mertesacker has given him a guarantee that he will get to train regularly with the first team once he signs for the Gunners.
Rekik is a right-sided central defender who has been playing on the left and in defensive midfield. His brother, Karim, plays in the same position and left Hertha Berlin to join Spanish side Sevilla on a five-year-deal in the closing stages of the summer transfer window.
The 19-year-old will be the latest in a series of new signings made by the Arsenal Under-23 side. In the last few months, Mertesacker, who has spearheaded recruitment for the U23s, has brought in six players.
It is understood that Mertsacker is trying to fill the gaps in the Under-23 team and Ben Knapper, the Loans Manager, is in charge of creating a programme of transition for every player in the system.