Premier League • England

Folarin Balogun pleads with Edu over Arsenal demands as Inter Milan learn fate; London rivals ready counter bid

Folarin Balogun Arsenal striker

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has reportedly asked Edu to reduce his asking price amid fears the Gunners are pricing the striker out of the market.

The Gunners have invested heavily in their squad this summer, spending just over £200m on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. And it seems their spending is far from done too, with a deal now agreed in principle with Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.

Arsenal could yet add further additions to their squad this summer too if a target becomes available. And while the club’s owner, Stan Kroenke, has truly backed Mikel Arteta and Edu’s vision, they will need to claw back some of their outgoings.

And one man who is strongly being linked with a summer exit is USA striker Balogun.

The 22-year-old star spent time on loan with Reims last season, where he scored an impressive 22 goals in 39 appearances. That form has alerted a number of potential suitors to his availability with the Gunners willing to cash in while his stock is high.

However, as Charles Watts exclusively told us, it is going to take a pretty sizeable fee to lure the star away from Emirates Stadium.

To that end, there are some within the corridors of power at Arsenal who seemingly value the star as high as £50m.

As a result, potential suitors are finding it tricky to talk Arsenal into a potential sale.

And having seen their efforts to convince Romelu Lukaku back to the San Siro for a third spell, Inter Milan are now firmly switching their focus on to Balogun instead.

The Champions League finalists have reportedly seen an opening offer for the star fall short, with Arsenal setting a minimum £45m fee.

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Folarin Balogun could be subject of West Ham approach

According to journalist Ben Jacobs, however, Balogun feels Arsenal’s demands are simply way too high. And he feels they are pricing him out of a potential move by requesting around £10m over what he feels would be a fairer price.

Jacobs tweeted: “Folarin Balogun has asked Arsenal to drop their asking price. He’s already said he won’t go out on loan. Inter felt £45m was too high and have now bid for West Ham’s Gianluca Scamacca. They haven’t entirely ruled out signing Balogun, though.

“Balogun feels Arsenal have added £10m extra to fee and it’s pricing him out the market. #AFC argue their valuation is more than fair given his 22 goals last season at Reims and potential. Some at the club want £50m as a minimum.”

With Arsenal unlikely to buckle, however, it may be that Inter may have to turn their focus elsewhere.

And with still a month left in the window, the Gunners are not prepared, at this stage, to lower their asking price for the player.

Indeed, if Balogun is to get his move, Jacobs suggests a move across London to West Ham could yet present itself.

The two clubs have, of course, already traded this summer in the Rice transfer. Now, though, Jacobs reckons there is a chance the Hammers could hand a hefty chunk of that fee straight back by moving for Balogun.

Discussing their potential move, the CBS journalist added: “Keep an eye on West Ham. They haven’t moved for Balogun yet but do like the player. Multiple Premier League have enquired.”

Whether they too are put off by Arsenal’s demands remains to be seen. But with Scamacca likely to depart this summer, the Europa League winners will need another attacking option to call upon.

Balogun could yet be that man for David Moyes and Co.

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