Arsenal slap ‘crazy’ valuation on lethal forward who’s causing ‘havoc’, as two Euro giants prey on Arteta indecision
Mikel Arteta remains on the fence over whether to sell an Arsenal frontman who’s in the form of his life, and whether two interested European giants are ready to test the Gunners’ ‘crazy’ valuation has been revealed, per reports.
The Premier League leaders boast impressive attacking talent in each department of their front line. The January addition of Leandro Trossard and returns to fitness of Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus has given Arteta an embarrassment of riches.
As such, the Gunners don’t hold a single regret over loaning out a player who has actually scored more league goals this term than anyone back at the Emirates.
Folarin Balogun is the man in question, with the 21-year-old bagging 16 goals in 26 Ligue 1 matches while on loan with French side Reims.
His mark of 16 goals puts him joint-third in the Ligue 1 top scorers chart this season with the striker causing ‘havoc’ for opposition defences, per InterLive.it. For context, he’s just three strikes shy of Kylian Mbappe (19) and three ahead of both Lionel Messi and Neymar (13 each).
Balogun’s loan deal with Reims does not contain an option to buy. As such, he’ll return to north London at season’s end, though for how long remains to be seen.
Indeed, both Milan clubs are sizing up Balogun ahead of summer pushes to bring him to Italy.
AC’s striker options are ageing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud now 41 and 36 respectively. Inter, meanwhile, have only offered Edin Dzeko a one-year deal and the Bosnian wants two years before penning fresh terms.
The former Man City hitman is out of contract in June and has been linked with returning to England with West Ham as a free agent.
Whether Arsenal would be willing to cash in on Balogun hasn’t yet been determined. He’s proving himself a lethal marksman this season, though may see his development stifled at Arsenal if he falls behind Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order.
A summer sale could therefore make sense with Balogun’s stock the highest it’s ever been. According to InterLive.it, the two Milan clubs have now learned how much it’ll take to make Arsenal sing.
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‘Crazy’ Arsenal valuation emerges
Citing information from Gazzetta dello Sport, it’s claimed in the event Arsenal do greenlight a sale, Balogun will cost €40m (approx. £35m) ‘at the very least’.
The Italian outlet label this a ‘crazy’ figure for the Italian sides, perhaps because Balogun has less than a full season’s worth of top form on his CV. The weaker financial might the Serie A clubs can muster would also make a move of that size for Balogun an almighty risk.
Inter would reportedly struggle to part ways with a fee in that range, though it may be a different story for AC. A deep run into this season’s Champions League (where they’ve already advanced to the quarter finals) would greatly aid their cause.
On the subject of whether Arsenal actually want to sell Balogun, InterLive.it acknowledge Arteta is yet to make a final call.
Balogun’s future will be assessed after the Reims loan concludes and Arsenal’s indecision should not come as a surprise. Selling such a promising homegrown talent is always a move that requires careful consideration.
But in the event Arteta does sanction a sale, it appears AC more so than Inter have the capability to pull off a deal.
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