Premier League • England

UCL club thunder in for Arsenal forward, with bidding war to help Arteta collect huge fee

Folarin Balogun Arsenal striker

A Champions League club have entered the race to sign wantaway Arsenal striker, Folarin Balogun, and a bidding war with Inter Milan could help the Gunners to receive their full valuation, per reports.

Balogun, 21, is coming off the back of a breakthrough campaign while loaned to Reims. The Gunners hitman bagged a wildly impressive 21 goals for the Ligue 1 outfit. However, his exploits aren’t likely to earn him a promotion back at the Emirates.

Indeed, it was Kai Havertz who was chosen to deputise for the injured Gabriel Jesus up top in the Community Shield. Eddie Nketiah is also in reserve, while Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli can play as a makeshift striker if required.

Balogun is a player Arsenal are seemingly willing to cash in on. Another loan spell has been ruled out by the player who is determined to kick on in his career.

Serie A giant Inter have re-emerged as a credible contender to sign Balogun.

Inter explored a move for Balogun inbetween failed moves for Romelu Lukaku and Gianluca Scamacca. However, with Lukaku wanted at Juventus and Scamacca heading to Atalanta, Fabrizio Romano reported Balogun to Inter is back on.

But according to reports out of France, it won’t be smooth sailing for Inter at the second time of asking.

Lens enter Balogun race

As cited by Sports Mole, Ligue 1 side Lens ‘are ready to throw their hat in the ring’ for Balogun.

Lens ran PSG mightily close in Ligue 1 last season, finishing just a single point behind their far richer rival.

They were ultimately made to settle for second place, though that at least comes with the reward of Champions League football.

However, Lens have sold top scorer Lois Openda to RB Leipzig who’s filled the void left by Christopher Nkunku. A new and equally reliable source of goals is required and Balogun is the player they’re turning to.

Per the report, Arsenal are demanding around £43m before parting ways with Balogun. That’ll be a challenge for both Lens and Inter to muster.

Indeed, it’s stated Lens are ‘not prepared’ to pay full price at this stage. Elsewhere, reports on Italy claimed Inter hope to seal a deal for £30m or less.

But if both Lens and Inter are serious about signing Balogun, a bidding war could push the final price up towards Arsenal’s new £43m valuation.

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