Soccer

Folarin Balogun being offered lucrative deals as Arsenal’s stance emerges

Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun could find himself at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war this summer.

The 19-year-old is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, with his current Gunners contract due to expire on June 30.

It is believed Arsenal are still hopeful of tying their academy starlet down to an extension in north London as he is seen as one of their biggest prospects for the future.

However, amid a lack of senior opportunities under Mikel Arteta this season he could be tempted to move elsewhere in search of more regular first-team football.

And according to the Mirror, Bayer Leverkusen are one of three clubs interested in offering Balogun a lucrative deal when his contract expires.

The German club are reportedly set to go head-to-head with Stuttgart and Rennes for his signature at the end of the season.

It leaves Arsenal chiefs with an uphill battle to keep their young prospect at The Emirates, and should he decide to move abroad they would only receive a small compensation fee.

Germany’s Bundesliga, where the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham have headed to further their careers, could prove an enticing option for Balogun as he ponders his next move.

Bundesliga teams have developed a reputation for nurturing young players and handing them much-needed starting opportunities, something Balogun is finding hard to come by at Arsenal.

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  • The striker has only been afforded five appearances by Arteta this season, with none coming in the Premier League.

    He has scored twice in their Europa League campaign, coming off the bench to bag his first senior goals as a Gunners player.

    Arsenal are desperate to keep him around, yet Arteta is blessed with attacking options and has Eddie Nketiah at his disposal along with star men Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

    While the north London outfit are aware of interest in Balogun and can do little to stop him leaving, Arteta recently said: “I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager.

    “As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.”

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