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Arteta says he is ‘hopeful’ Arsenal will agree a new deal with Folarin Balogun

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has said that he is hopeful the Gunners will agree a contract extension with academy graduate Folarin Balogun. The Spaniard made these remarks in his pre-match press conference ahead of the North London side’s game against Norwich City at the Emirates. 

It has been recently reported that Balogun has decided against signing a new deal with Arsenal. He has one year remaining on his current contract and if an extension cannot be agreed, it is believed that Arsenal would want to sell him this summer rather than risk losing him for free next year. 

The 18 year old striker feels that his path to the first team is not clear at Arsenal due to the emergence of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson. He is desperate to play first team football and is willing to depart the Emirates to make that happen.

On being asked whether Bukayo Saka and Folarin Balogun’s situations make him worry about keeping youngsters, Arteta said:

“I am not worried because I know that the club is doing their best to try to keep them [Bukayo and Folarin Balogun]. Hopefully we can have some good news about them very soon. They know my opinion on them and how much I like working on them, the intention that I have in the future with them. I see them really committed and hopefully we can find the right agreement for both parties and move on, because I think there’s a great future ahead of us with these kids.”

He was asked whether he was speaking generally or about Saka and Balogun specifically. He said he was speaking generally. It will be interesting to see how the Balogun situation plays out in North London this summer.

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