AC Milan are keeping tabs on Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun ahead of a possible summer swoop, according to Italian media outlet Calciomercato.
The 19-year-old has less than six months remaining on his contract with the North London club and is free to sign a pre-contract with the club of his choice. The Gunners have yet to convince the player to sign a new deal but remain committed to keeping him at the club. Manager Mikel Arteta recently stated that he believes Balogun will stay in North London.
It is understood that the player remains open to the idea of staying at Arsenal but is keen on regular game time. With the futures of the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, who will both have one year left on their contracts this summer, still uncertain, a pathway to the first team could open up for Balogun soon.
A number of clubs are interested in signing the New York-born striker on a free transfer and AC Milan have joined the race. Ibrahimovic’s contract expires in the summer. The Italian side are in the process of trying to find an agreement with the veteran striker to sign another 12-month contract and if they manage to do so, they would like to sign a young striker to compliment the Swede.
Balogun is one of a number of names being linked with the Italian giants. They have also been linked with Myron Boadu of AZ Alkmaar and former Arsenal youth prospect Donyell Malen who currently plays for PSV Eindhoven. Balogun will cost nothing while the other two targets are likely to be very expensive.
If they are unable to find an agreement with Ibrahimovic, they will look to sign a more experienced striker. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema remains their dream target but Torino’s Andrea Belotti is a more realistic target.
It must be said that if Balogun will only be on their radar if Ibrahimovic stays at the club, he is unlikely to get substantially more game time in Milan as compared to North London. It will be interesting to see what the Gunners decide to do with the futures of Lacazette and Nketiah as that could play a big role in determining Balogun’s future.
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