Arteta options dwindle as second Arsenal exit wish is revealed with quartet keen
Folarin Balogun has decided he wants to leave Arsenal on loan in January, which may be cause for concern for Mikel Arteta given news about one of his teammates that emerged earlier.
Balogun was facing an uncertain future at Arsenal approaching last summer, but he committed to the club for the long term. However, he is having to be patient for a genuine breakthrough at senior level.
After making six appearances in cup competitions last season, he has played just three times for the first team this term. He finds himself behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the pecking order up front.
Furthermore, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah are also vying for a place in the same position. However, Nketiah has rejected an offer of a contract extension and is also looking to leave, reports earlier on Wednesday confirmed.
Balogun could be following him out of the exit door, according to a fresh update from Football.London. The online outlet claims the New York-born forward also wants to leave in January.
Unlike Nketiah, though, Balogun is still hoping for a long-term future with Arsenal. Therefore, he is ready to leave on loan rather than on a permanent basis.
The 20-year-old may have to leave the Premier League to further his career. It has already been reported that he has several suitors in the Championship.
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A report last month said Balogun was a top target for new Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder, who would also face competition from his former employers, Sheffield United.
According to the Sun, there was a “sizeable queue” forming for Balogun. Now, the identities of some of those other suitors are becoming clear.
Folarin Balogun has four options already
Football.London verify the interest from Middlesbrough. They also add Millwall and Swansea City into contention for a mid-season deal.
Further afield, Saint Etienne are named as contenders to take Balogun to Ligue 1 in France.
He will therefore have plenty of options to weigh up if Arsenal do sanction his temporary departure. They still have him under contract until 2025.
But with doubts over the futures of Nketiah and Lacazette as well, they must ensure they do not leave themselves light in attack.
With that in mind, perhaps, they are already being linked with new strikers they could sign either in January or the summer.
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For example, they are reported to have increased their offer for Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic.
The Serbia striker has made a huge impact in Serie A following his move from his home country in 2018. He has scored 43 goals in 100 appearances for La Viola.
But with his form has come significant transfer interest from elsewhere. Indeed, Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly the leading candidates to sign him from the Premier League.
He is set to move on from Florence after refusing the offer of a new contract. The 21-year-old’s current deal expires in the summer of 2023, but Fiorentina would rather sell up in 2022 rather than risk losing him for free.
Fiorentina, having conceded they are open to a sale, are reportedly seeking around £63m (€75m) for the striker.
However, Corriere Fiorentino claims the Gunners are ready to pay a premium for the striker to secure a deal. Arsenal are now offering Fiorentina £68m (€80m) for Vlahovic.
Despite their sizeable approach, the Gunners reportedly still face an uphill battle to land the striker. Vlahovic is supposedly ‘extremely reticent’ to join Arsenal.
Arteta’s side are unable to offer European football. And while they have made a solid start to the new season, it remains doubtful they will be able to offer the Champions League football Vlahovic craves.
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