Transfer Rumours: Lokonga to Brighton, Ndombele to Reject Nottingham Forest

Brighton & Hove Albion have reportedly set their sights on Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga as a potential replacement for Carlos Baleba.

Following Moises Caicedo’s record-breaking move to Chelsea, the Seagulls have been actively searching for a successor and have been in talks for a £25.6m transfer deal with Lille’s Baleba.

However, talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook has revealed that negotiations for Baleba have hit a roadblock. As a result, Brighton has turned their attention to Lokonga.

Lokonga, who joined Arsenal from Anderlecht in 2021, was initially seen as a promising talent under Mikel Arteta.

However, the 23-year-old midfielder has struggled to fulfill his potential, failing to contribute any goals or assists in his 39 appearances for Arsenal.

He was loaned out to Crystal Palace during the second half of the 2022-23 season, making nine appearances for the Eagles.

Currently sidelined with a muscular injury, Lokonga is yet to feature for Arsenal this season. With his contract expiring in 2026, Brighton is considering a loan deal for the Belgian midfielder.

In other transfer news, Tottenham Hotspur’s Tanguy Ndombele is expected to reject a move to Nottingham Forest.

Ndombele’s £53m transfer to Tottenham in 2019 remains the club’s most expensive signing to date. However, his time in North London has been underwhelming.

Despite a successful loan spell at Napoli, where he won the Serie A title last season, Ndombele is yet to make a competitive appearance for Spurs this season.

With Tottenham looking to offload the 26-year-old before the transfer deadline, Nottingham Forest offered him a loan move with an option to buy in 2024.

However, Ndombele has declined the offer, and potential interest from Rennes is unlikely to materialize due to financial concerns.

Instead, Galatasaray is now the frontrunner to secure Ndombele’s services. The French midfielder, valued at £17m, is out of contract in the summer of 2025.

Moving on to Manchester United, winger Facundo Pellistri is reportedly in talks with Sheffield United over a loan move.

Pellistri, who made his debut for Manchester United in January, has been a peripheral figure in the squad. With limited game time, Pellistri is exploring the possibility of regular football elsewhere.

Although negotiations are ongoing, Sheffield United’s plans for the summer transfer window will play a significant role in finalizing the deal.

Pellistri’s contract with Manchester United runs until 2025, and it remains uncertain whether the club will extend his contract before the loan move.

Lastly, Union Berlin is making significant progress in their pursuit of veteran Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci.

With less than a year remaining on his contract, Bonucci was left out of Juventus’ squad for their recent Serie A matches. Union Berlin, eager to bolster their squad, is in advanced talks with Bonucci.

Fabrizio Romano reports that the German club is awaiting the final green light for the transfer, with this week being crucial in their pursuit.

Bonucci, who has accumulated 37 goals and 10 assists in 502 games for Juventus, may have the opportunity to return to the Champions League with Union Berlin, thanks to their impressive fourth-placed finish in the Bundesliga last season.

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