Balogun close to signing a pre-contract agreement with foreign club

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club, according to The Athletic.

The 19-year-old has six months remaining on his contract with the Gunners and has failed to find an agreement with the club to extend his stay in North London as things stand. The Arsenal academy product is open to staying at the Emirates but wants to play regularly. If he does not get consistent game time, he will sign for one of the 15 clubs who have shown an interest in him, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The New York-born centre forward made his debut for Arsenal’s first team in the Europa League earlier this season. He has scored two goals in four appearances for the North London side in the 2020/21 season. 

The player was linked with a move away from the Emirates last summer but that transfer did not end up materialising. Arsenal are keen on retaining Balogun and agreeing a long term contract with the young striker and manager Mikel Arteta reiterated this in his most recent pre-match press conference. On Balogun, he said:

“His progression and the use of the time that he’s had with us has been incredible. He will keep having chances while he’s with us. You need three parties to make a deal. 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.”

On if his agent is stopping a new deal being agreed, he said:

“No, I’m not saying he’s stopping [the deal]. I’m saying 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 they defend the same interests, which is the players’ interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”

Balogun is one of Europe’s most exciting young strikers and Arsenal will be hoping to find an agreement for him to stay at the club for the long term. They will not want to lose another highly rated player and see them succeed elsewhere like Serge Gnabry and Donyell Malen.

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