Mikel Arteta has expressed concern that the agent of Folarin Balogun may be standing in the way of his contract negotiations with Arsenal.
Balogun is in the final six months of his contract at Arsenal, where he made his senior debut this season.
The striker has scored two goals from five appearances in cup competitions. Arteta is keen for him to commit his long-term future to the club.
However, Balogun is yet to sign an extension to his deal. That puts Arsenal at risk of losing him, even though he would like to stay.
Instead, Arteta worries that his agent does not want the 19-year-old to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
“You need three parties to make a deal,” Arteta said. “For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.
“I’m not saying he’s stopping [the talks progressing], it’s that we need to find an agreement with him.
“We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.
“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”
Balogun could play in next game
The US-born forward has not yet made his Premier League debut. However, he has shown promise in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
He will get the chance to play in another competition when Arsenal face Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Arteta has confirmed that the England under-20 international could play in the third round clash.
“He is fit and available,” Arteta said. “His progression and the use of the time he’s had with us has been incredibly good and he will keep having chances while he is with us.”