Arsenal appear to have found a breakthrough in their efforts to convince Folarin Balogun to stay at the Emirates Stadium, a report claims.
Balogun is one of the biggest talents to emerge from Arsenal’s academy in recent years. He is yet to make his Premier League debut for the club but has scored two goals and added one assist from four substitute appearances in the Europa League this season.
However, with his contract expiring at the end of the season, there have been fears that Arsenal could lose Balogun. A number of clubs have been keeping tabs on him amid a hesitance to commit his long-term future.
But with the end of his contract getting closer, Arsenal’s worries may have been relieved. According to various sources, Balogun is on the verge of signing a new deal.
The Daily Mail first reported the news, which has since been backed up by the likes of The Athletic and Sky Sports.
Negotiations are now down to the smaller details as Balogun prepares to pledge his long-term future to Arsenal. That would spell disappointment for the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus, who had been hoping to sign him as a free agent.
At under-23 level, Balogun has scored eight goals from 16 appearances this season. His potential is clear and Arsenal were eager to keep hold of him.
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They also faced a threat from the likes of Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace. All three clubs could have offered him a different pathway in the Premier League.
But Mikel Arteta has remained confident all along and it seems his faith was justified.
Balogun to force Nketiah out?
The Athletic add that Balogun’s imminent new contract could spell disaster for fellow young striker Eddie Nketiah.
Nketiah has been on the cusp of a first-team breakthrough for a long time but has not been able to cement his place in the side.
A loan spell to Leeds last season didn’t quite work out and he has featured little since his return to north London. It is claimed that he is more likely to leave now that Balogun will be staying.
Nketiah will only have one year left on his contract in the summer so the club could opt to cash in on him.