Premier League • England

Arsenal transfers: Serie A giants still locked on 22-goal Gunners man with confidence growing major obstacle can be overcome

Folarin Balogun Reims 2023 TEAMtalk1

Reports claim Inter Milan are still keen to sign Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun and are confident they can reduce the asking price to secure a deal.

The 22-year-old has been with the Gunners since 2008, coming up through the club’s youth teams. But he has been unable to secure a regular spot in the senior side and was loaned to French club Reims last season. The USA international responded with 22 goals from 39 appearances in all competitions.

And that return prompted some of Europe’s big-hitters to sit up and take note.

He is now back with the north Londoners but rumours of a summer exit will not go away.

Marseille were linked with the former England Under-21 star earlier this summer.

But now Inter appear to be heading the queue for his signature. They have yet to table an offer, however, and Arsenal’s price tag of £50m is unlikely to be met.

La Gazzetta dello Sport are suggesting that the ex-Middlesbrough loan man is still their first-choice target during the off-season.

I Nerazzurri had been heavily linked with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.

However, they appear to have ended their pursuit of the former Chelsea hitman.

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And a potential move to bring Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku back to the San Siro on a permanent basis also failed to materialise.

Balogun appears a decent alternative but there will need to be some give and take by the Premier League outfit.

Inter prepare to butt heads with Arsenal over Balogun

Balogun did all he could with Reims to advance his prospects of staying at Arsenal.

But, with game time likely to be limited at the Emirates, it does seem likely that his days in red and white may be numbered.

Inter finished third in Serie A last term and will therefore feature in the Champions League.

Manager Simone Inzaghi has brought in a few players since the end of 2022-2023.

They have all been for relatively small fees. Balogun’s price tag does not fit into that category but the Italian giants feel they can bring that figure down.

Whether Arsenal agree to play ball is open to debate. But there will need to be some serious negotiations after Inter balked at Atletico’s £18m demand for Morata.

The one plus for Inter is that the Gunners need to raise funds after their summer of spending.

Declan Rice’s £105m fee has dwarfed all other deals and is a statement of intent from Mikel Arteta.

Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber have also been recruited and it was reported earlier this week that they must now sell.

A move away for Balogun makes sense, with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah clearly ahead of the youngster.

He has shown in Ligue 1 that he has the class to succeed and needs to be given a stage to showcase his talent.

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