Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Standout Arsenal striker will be sold to highest bidder as Serie A pair lurk while Edu sees path to Brazilian sensation blocked

Vitor Roque in action for Brazil U20s during match against Venezuela in Bogota, Colombia

Arsenal are reportedly willing to sell a star striker making major waves on the continent amid suggestions the player is subject to interest from Inter Milan and AC Milan.

The Gunners restored their five-point advantage at the Premier League summit on Sunday with a very convincing 3-0 win at Fulham. And with just 11 games left in the domestic season, hopes are growing that Arsenal can end their 19-year title drought.

Their prospects of securing a first crown since 2004 were enhanced too on Sunday with Gabriel Jesus making his long-awaited return from injury. Indeed, he has been very much missed during his lay-off with the knee injury sustained at the World Cup.

And the Gunners will hope he can soon rediscover his scoring touch during the run-in. His return is extremely timely too with Eddie Nketiah missing the last three games with an ankle injury.

Indeed, the capture of Jesus last summer paved the way for Arsenal to loan out Folarin Balogun.

And since his move to Reims in France, the England Under-21 international has certainly made the most of his chance.

Balogun has made a massive impact, scoring the winner for Will Still’s in Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Monaco. That was his 17th goal of a hugely-productive season with the striker also having two assists to his name from his 28 appearances.

And that form has certainly raised his profile. Now il Gazzetta dello Sport claims both Milan and Inter are hot on Balogun’s trail.

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Gunners ready to cash in on Balogun

The chase is reportedly being led by Stefano Pioli’s side. And with Zlatan Ibrahimovic nearing the end of the line, together with uncertainty over Olivier Giroud, the Rossonneri see Balogun as next in line.

However, competition for Balogun is fierce with their city rivals Inter also keen. They are also in the market for a new striker amid claims Romelu Lukaku will be sent back to Chelsea.

They are keen on Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram, but it seems the France striker is close to agreeing a move elsewhere. Balogun, it seems, is next on their shopping list.

The 21-year-old is due to return to Arsenal in the summer, where he is contracted to 2025. But the report claims Arsenal will never get a better chance to make a hefty fee on Balogun.

And with Balogun some way down Mikel Arteta’s pecking order, he will reportedly be sold to the highest bidder.

Arsenal fall short in chase for Vitor Roque

The Gunners, meanwhile, have seen a potential succession plan for Balogun hit a major stumbling block.

Athletico Paranaense forward Vitor Roque has been attracting attention in recent months from Arsenal sporting director Edu.

The 18-year-old is seen as one of Brazil’s brightest prospects and is already a regular in his country’s Under-20s set-up.

As a result, Arsenal are among a plethora of clubs looking to bring him to Europe.

However, it seems Edu will be beaten to the punch with Sport reporting that Barcelona are now closing on a deal. They claim Roque rejected an approach from Arsenal, having set his heart on Barca.

There it is claimed they see the teenager as the heir to veteran striker Robert Lewandowski. To that end, an agreement on the transfer will reportedly go through in a matter of weeks.

Sport also claims that once Barcelona came on to the scene, Roque had no desire to join any other club.

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