Premier League • England

Chelsea thwarted as European giants close in on Arsenal star Pochettino wanted to replace Lukaku

Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun

Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun

Monaco are reportedly ‘close’ to agreeing a deal for Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, who has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea recently.  

Monaco and Arsenal are still negotiating a final fee for the United States international but everything points to him joining the French club this summer.

Balogun has been linked with a departure from the Emirates since the end of last season, after making it clear he isn’t willing to sit on the bench for the Gunners.

The striker enjoyed a fantastic loan spell with Reims last season. He netted an impressive 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances last season.

Balogun wasn’t included in the Arsenal squad by Mikel Arteta in Arsenal’s two opening Premier League fixtures, which all but confirmed the manager’s desire to sell him.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Chelsea have been linked with a move for Balogun.

With Christopher Nkunku currently sidelined with an injury and Romelu Lukaku not part of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans, the Blues are considering signing a new striker.

It now seems, however, that Chelsea will have to look elsewhere, with Monaco closing in on signing Balogun on a permanent deal.

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Monaco win the race for Balogun

According to reputed transfer journalist David Ornstein, Monaco are closing in on an agreement for Balogun.

On TwitterOrnstein wrote: “AS Monaco close to reaching an agreement with Arsenal to sign striker Folarin Balogun.

“Clubs still negotiating final price but 22yo USA international is now on course to join Monaco from Arsenal in permanent deal.”

It’s also claimed that the deal has been helped by the fact that Monaco’s sporting director, Thiago Scuro, has a strong relationship with Edu, his opposite number at Arsenal.

Ornstein’s report is backed up by another reliable journo, Fabrizio Romano.

“More on Balogun. Player has already said yes to the Monaco project and also agreed personal terms days ago,” Romano added on Twitter

“The deal is being finalised between clubs. Arsenal insisting on final payment terms details then it will be done/ sealed.”

Given Balogun already has a full season of Ligue 1 football under his belt, he will be aiming to hit the ground running with Monaco, just as he did with Reims.

If he can net another 20+ goals this season and go on to reach his sky-high potential, Arsenal may well regret letting him go in the future.

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