Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer ignites, with ‘technically top notch’ forward on the move after ‘greedy’ club’s deal collapses

Folarin Balogun celebrating for Reims

Folarin Balogun celebrating a goal for Reims while on loan from Arsenal

RB Leipzig have fixed their gaze on an Arsenal forward after seeing a bid worth €43.5m for a different frontman rejected by a club they deem ‘greedy’, per a report.

The Bundesliga powerhouse have lost two of their most influential attackers this window. Christopher Nkunku has joined Chelsea for £52m, while Liverpool left Leipzig powerless to resist after activating Dominik Szoboszlai’s £60.1m release clause.

The German club have at least been healthily rewarded for their troubles from a financial perspective. However, to ensure they remain among the country’s elite, they must sign suitable replacements.

Benjamin Sesko has joined from sister club RB Salzburg. Elsewhere, Liverpool’s Fabio Carvalho has arrived on a season-long loan.

However, according to BILD, the man Leipzig wanted as the direct and higher profile replacement for Nkunku is Lois Openda of Lens.

The Belgium international, 23, bagged 21 goals in Ligue 1 last season and is Leipzig’s No 1 striker target.

They’ve acted on their interest on several occasions, with BILD reporting a fourth bid worth €43.5m has recently been rejected.

Leipzig believe Lens would be receiving a very generous offer for the frontman and as such, it’s claimed the French club are ‘being too greedy’.

Rather than keep going higher and higher, it’s stated Leipzig are now exploring alternatives and Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun is in their sights.

Arsenal open to Balogun sale; Leipzig believe price can be lowered

Like Openda, Balogun also notched 21 Ligue 1 goals while loaned to Reims last season. However, with Balogun refusing to sign a new deal and being dead set against another loan spell away, a permanent exit from Arsenal is on the cards.

Mikel Arteta already has Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah to call upon up front. Kai Havertz has placed another hurdle in Balogun’s way and a departure to go in search of regular starts now seems inevitable.

The Telegraph reported Arsenal want £50m for the frontman. Leipzig have cash to splash, though BILD claim they believe a deal can be done for less than their last bid for Openda (approx. £37.3m).

Lodging an official bid is the only way we’ll find out, and BILD add Balogun would be the perfect plan B given he’s ‘fast, good at dribbling and technically top notch’. In other words, he’s a similar profile of player to Openda, though could be far easier – and cheaper – to sign.

The report concludes the door to Openda is not yet closed completely. However, that deal can only take place if Lens relax their demands. Leipzig are adamant they’ve already made suitable offers for Openda and won’t raise the stakes any higher.

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