Mikel Arteta confirmed Arsenal are on the verge of a transfer breakthrough after his team were held 2-2 by Rangers in their second pre-season friendly.
Nuno Tavares, the left-back acquired from Benfica, scored on his first Arsenal appearance, and striker Eddie Nketiah also netted in the draw at Ibrox.
Arsenal are thought to be close to bringing in centre-back Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion for a fee that could be close to £50million, as Arteta looks to strengthen his defence.
An announcement of that deal may come before Arsenal head off to the United States on Wednesday for a training camp in Florida, although it has been reported that White is currently on holiday.
“We’re going to have some new faces arriving probably, so very positive,” Arteta said after his team’s run-out in Glasgow.
White won his first two England caps last month in warm-up games for Euro 2020, and he could provide the sort of defensive leadership that Arsenal have lacked in recent seasons.
Arteta was largely impressed by Arsenal on Saturday but hinted at disappointment about the way they allowed Rangers to get on the scoresheet.
“Overall I’m really pleased with the performance. I think we dominated the game, we created so many chances – I counted about eight or 10 clear chances to score – but this game is decided in both boxes,” the Arsenal manager told his club’s website.
“We weren’t clinical in the opponent’s box and we conceded two goals from two corners, which were the only chances they had apart from the counter-attack from our own corner.”
How does it feel to score your first Arsenal goal on your first Arsenal start?
We asked Nuno
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 17, 2021
Arsenal lost 2-1 at Hibernian on Tuesday and Arteta felt the display against Rangers was “much better”, hailing the performance from newcomer Tavares.
“He’s only been with us a few days but you can already see his qualities, his physicality and then the quality on the ball that he has,” Arteta said. “He’s integrating with the lads really well, so it’s a good start.”