The future of Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun will continue to be at the forefront of the transfer window. The USMNT star has been linked with a host of teams following his impressive loan spell in France.
Balogun finished the 2022/23 season with Stade Reims scoring 21 goals, only Jonathan David, Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe scored more. His displays away from England are likely to mean the 21-year-old will demand first-team minutes next season.
Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are currently ahead of the New York-born forward in Mikel Arteta’s pecking order, with Kai Havertz also set to feature. With the number of teams interested in his signature gradually increasing, soccer.london have taken a look at everything you need to know about his future below.
RB Leipzig questions
German side RB Leipzig are said to be exploring other options this summer after a £35 million ($44.5 million) price tag was slapped on the forward. It is reported that the price has deterred them from pushing further for Balogun in this window.
Kai Havertz problem
The deal to sign Kai Havertz from Arsenal has presented a massive dilemma for Balogun, who now looks to be fourth choice for the striker role.
Havertz is set to join for £65 million ($82 million) on a long-term deal as Arteta looks to add depth and quality to his squad. However, it is yet another player to fight for first team minutes with for Balogun.
Loan selection has been made
Balogun has come out in full force and confirms that he will not let out this summer. After scoring his first goal for the USMNT, he said of his future: “What I can say is that I definitely don’t want to go out on loan again.
“I’m not sure about the discussions that are going to take place, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. But I’m just committed to now, I’m trying to stay present. I’m obviously going to enjoy the moment with my team and my family.”
Folarin Balogun has decided to reaffirm his international allegiance to the USMNT. The forward was eligible to represent England or the United States after being born in New York.
His move to the USA team could play a role in his decision-making about his future. If the striker is to become a regular on the international stage, he will need to play regularly.
Price tag set
Arsenal will demand £35m for Balogun this summer, according to Sky Sport Germany.
The Gunners will test the resolve of any interested parties due to their preference to trial him in pre-season ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Ligue 1 interest
Despite having Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun at their disposal, Arsenal are reportedly plotting a move for Montpellier striker Elye Wahi.
The 20-year-old has scored over 30 Ligue 1 goals and has attracted interest from Europe.
AC Milan, Inter Milan, RB Leipzig, Marseille and AS Monaco are all in the race for Balogun’s signature this summer, according to Athletics.
Serie A champions Napoli are also monitoring the situation as they potentially look for a replacement for Victor Osimhen.
Balogun’s performances in France have resulted in a number of clubs interested in his services. According to 90 minthe striker will hold crunch talks about his future this summer.
The outcome of these negotiations appears to be a move elsewhere. Balogun wants first-team assurances and is said not to be keen on another loan spell.
Back in March, Balogun spoke about his plans for the summer transfer window amid continued speculation surrounding his future.
“Contractually, I have to go back,” he shared official Ligue 1 website. “Because the loan was only for one year, so that was always the deal. But I didn’t want to, um, I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the future.
“A lot can happen in football, a lot can change and it just depends on the conversations we have between me and the club in the summer and we’ll see what happens.”
Back in February, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta ruled out giving any indication of his plan for Balogun during the summer. “The plan is for him to finish his spell there, assess the situation where he is, where we are and then sit down and plan the next chapter of his developing career,” the Gunners boss said of Balogun.
“[I am] So happy for him,” the Spaniard added. “He’s a boy with a really clear idea of what he wants to do in his career, really ambitious, really committed and he’s really brave. We discussed before if it was the right place to go and other choices he had. He was so confident and I’m really happy for him because he deserves what he gets.
“He has something special. That’s why we gave him a long-term contract and have faith in him and give him the long period that he has now because the period he has now is different to the previous one at Middlesbrough.”
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