Folarin Balogun has opened up about his future at Arsenal amidst transfer speculation and growing interest from Inter Milan.
Following a highly successful loan spell at Reims last season, where Balogun notched an impressive 22 goals in 39 games across all competitions, the 22-year-old’s future has been the subject of intense discussion.
Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, intends to assess Balogun’s abilities during the team’s pre-season tour of the USA. However, the young forward faces competition from Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah for a spot in the squad.
Despite the ongoing evaluation process, Balogun’s performances have caught the attention of several clubs, with Inter Milan being the most notable suitor. Inter’s interest in the American international comes after they withdrew from talks with Chelsea over a potential deal for Romelu Lukaku.
Reports indicate that Inter is prepared to make a bid of around £34 million for Balogun, but Arsenal is holding out for a higher fee of at least £50 million. Nevertheless, the Gunners may be willing to negotiate if certain conditions, such as a buy-back clause or significant sell-on fees, are included in the deal.
Addressing the mounting transfer rumors, Balogun recently commented on the situation, hinting that he may be open to leaving the Emirates Stadium.
He said, “I obviously went away, and the point was to prove I could play first team football. I feel I was able to do that and show people I can play at that level.”
The young striker continued, “I think with me coming back, it’s not really much of a situation where I think I can need to try extra hard to prove something, I think it’s a decision that’s not really with me. Whatever happens, I’m cool with it.”
From that comment above it appears he knows he’s going to be sold as Arsenal can’t offer him what he wants, which is first-team football next season. However the Gunners aren’t prepared to accept anything less than their £50million valuation for the player.
Folarin Balogun currently has two years remaining on his contract with Arsenal and has previously expressed his desire to secure regular playing time, which is not guaranteed under Arteta’s current squad.
Considering Arsenal’s significant spending in the current transfer window, which includes signings like Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber for just under £200 million, the club may be tempted to cash-in on the academy graduate to balance the books.