Brighton set to complete £17m signing of Man Utd target who will break Chelsea transfer record
Brighton are set to complete another piece of transfer business with the arrival of Netherlands Under-21 international Bart Verbruggen from Belgian side Anderlecht
Bart Verbruggen is expected to become Brighton’s next arrival of the summer transfer window.
The Netherlands Under-21 goalkeeper is thought to have agreed a deal to move to the American Express Stadium from Anderlecht for around £17million.
Verbruggen was previously a target for Burnley and Manchester United but looks set to have settled on the south coast following a conversation with Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi.
The 20-year-old was previously committed to keeping his focus on international duty at the Under-21 European Championship, though the Netherlands’ exit at the group stage means he is now free to sort out his club future.
Verbruggen will trump Thibaut Courtois as the most expensive goalkeeper to leave Belgium, with the current Real Madrid stopper joining Chelsea in 2011 from Genk for a fee believed to have been around €9million.
He will compete for the No 1 spot at Brighton, which is currently held by 32-year-old Jason Steele. The Englishman replaced regular starter Robert Sanchez between the sticks midway through last season, making 15 Premier League appearances.
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Sanchez’s reaction to being dropped was not ideal either, with De Zerbi claiming that the Spaniard wanted to stay at home rather than feature on the bench. He could now be sold this summer, with Chelsea among the clubs with a reported interest in the 25-year-old.
Elsewhere, highly-rated academy goalkeeper James Beadle agreed a season-long loan at Oxford United last week, meaning there would be ample space for Verbruggen to come in and potentially force his way into the starting XI immediately.
Speaking to Het Belang van Limburg earlier this week, the keeper said: “I have always said that it is my dream to play football in England. Just the fact that I’m mentioned there is something to be proud of.”
He could be the fourth arrival of the summer at Brighton, who have already signed Watford forward Joao Pedro for £30million and completed free moves for midfielders James Milner and Mahmoud Dahoud from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectivley.