Arsenal’s first January transfer arrives in London with deal set to be signed

Arsenal appear set to finally complete the signing of Hertha Berlin centre-back Omar Rekik, who jetted in to London on Thursday amid talk of a move to The Emirates.

The Gunners agreed a £900,000 fee with Hertha for Rekik, 18, on deadline day in the summer and autumn transfer window, with Matteo Guendouzi heading in the opposite direction on loan.

In the end they ran out of time to get the deal over the line, meaning the teenage defender was forced to remain with the Bundesliga outfit until January at least.

But now Rekik has dropped a major hint that he is poised to join Mikel Arteta’s side, posting an image on Instagram that showed him touching down in London on Thursday.

Nevertheless, Arsenal fans should not expect to see him in first-team action anytime soon if he does sign for the club.

The Tunisia star is seen as a prospect for the future and is unlikely to be involved with the senior squad upon arrival.

Football.london previously reported that academy manager Per Mertesacker had promised Rekik regular first-team training, yet game time is not guaranteed.

Arteta is already struggling to fit William Saliba into his side this season after the £27million defender returned from his loan spell at St-Etienne in the summer.

Saliba, 19, is therefore likely to be sent out on loan when the January transfer window opens.

Rekik, who is yet to make a senior appearance for Hertha despite being included in the squad on three occasions last season, could also be loaned out if he becomes an Arsenal player as expected.

He was previously on the books of Manchester City, Feyenoord, PSV and Marseille before joining older brother Karim at Hertha – although his sibling has since departed for Sevilla.

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The youngster is highly regarded in European football and has reportedly received a number of offers from elsewhere, yet Arsenal appear in pole position to prise him away from Germany next month.

Rekik is unlikely to be Arsenal’s only signing in January, as Arteta is expected to bolster his first-team squad following the club’s worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1974/75.

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