Arsenal are set to confirm the £900,000 signing of Hertha Berlin defender Omar Rekik this week. The 19-year-old will be the first signing of the January transfer window for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. Rekik is a centre back but is not expected to be part of Arteta’s first-team plans straight away, due to their surplus in this position currently. The teenager is already an international choosing to represent Tunisia through his father’s heritage – rather than representing Holland, where he was born.
It is believed that Per Mertesacker, current Arsenal academy coach, had a key part in making the deal happen. According to football.london, Arsenal are keen to loan their impending signing back to Hertha to aid his development but as of yet not decision has been made. Rekik was born on 20 December 2001 in Den Haag and plays for Hertha Berlin. He played for Feyenoord Rotterdam from 2011-2012, for Manchester City FC from 2012-2014, for PSV Eindhoven from 2014-2015, for Olympique de Marseille from 2015-2017 and has played for Hertha BSC since 2017.
A deal for Rekik was agreed on the final day of the summer transfer window, but the move wasn’t signed off in time so all parties had to wait until January to complete the switch. A fee of around £900,000 was agreed for the defender, as part of the deal that saw Matteo Guendouzi move to Hertha Berlin on loan, however, the fee has now come down to around £540,000 after the delay.
The 19-year-old has never made a first team appearance for Hertha Berlin, although did make the match day squad on three occasions at the end of last season. He has been playing in the youth sides so far this campaign as he awaits his move to Arsenal. It has been a nomadic lifestyle for the teenager in his career so far, having been on the books at Manchester City, Feyenoord, PSV and Marseille already. The centre-back plays naturally on the right side of central defence, but is also capable on the left side and in defensive midfield.