Arsenal have reportedly agreed to sell Folarin Balogun for an initial fee of approximately £34million, plus add-ons and a ‘significant sell-on clause’.
Balogun was one of the most in-form forwards in Europe last season. Indeed, the 22-year-old went out on loan to Reims, where he scored 21 Ligue 1 goals – only three players scored more.
But his potential would have gone to waste back at the Emirates this season after his fantastic displays. Indeed, Arsenal have Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Kai Havertz ahead of him in the pecking order.
That he hasn’t been included in a squad so far this season despite Jesus being injured suggests Mikel Arteta had no interest in using him.
Sides have frequently been linked with Balogun this summer, and Arsenal have entertained the idea of selling.
Chelsea and Monaco are the two sides who appeared to have the best chance of snaring him. Negotiations between the Blues and their London rivals were said to be ‘well underway’ recently, with a deal ‘close’.
However, a subsequent report from transfer insider David Ornstein stated that Monaco were in fact “close” to the deal themselves.
What’s more, Balogun was said to have “agreed personal terms” with the Ligue 1 outfit days before.
Monaco beat Chelsea to Balogun deal
Now, Fabrizio Romano has revealed it’s Monaco who have won the race for the star forward.
He reports that the agreement has been completed, with Arsenal receiving an initial €40million (£34million approx) with add-ons on top of that.
The initial price is below the Gunners’ reported £50million asking price, but it’s fair to assume the add-ons will probably bring the total closer to, or even above, that number.
Even if that’s not the case, Arsenal could be in line for some good money at some point down the line, as Romano states they have retained a ‘significant sell-on clause for the future’.
While it’s not clear what percentage of the future fee that is, ‘significant’ is a good sign, and if Balogun goes on to make a big move from Monaco, the Gunners will be laughing all the way to the bank.
While Romano does not state the exact length of the forward’s Monaco contract, he does mention it’s a ‘long-term deal’.
Chelsea have to keep looking
The Arsenal forward was the latest in a long line of forwards Chelsea have been interested in this summer. They’ve already signed two, in Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson.
But they clearly want another, and after missing out on Balogun, will have to keep searching.
The clock is ticking for them to do so, so they’ll hope they’re able to land one soon. The Blues still have a number of options on the table, as per reports, so there’s a good chance they’ll make another addition before the transfer window closes.