Mikel Arteta has confirmed reports that young striker Folarin Balogun is set to sign a new deal at Arsenal.
Negotiations with the 19-year-old have been drawn out for more than a year and at times it looked as though the Academy graduate’s future might lie elsewhere.
Several foreign clubs are thought to have made contact in January but despite being able to sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a Bosman move this summer he’s been persuaded to stay put.
“We’re going to make it official once everything is done,” he told press ahead of Thursday’s clash with Slavia Prague.
“As I said, I’ve always been very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club so, we’re very close.”
Asked how the club managed to turn things around, Arteta explained: “We just tried to, first of all, understand why he got to the point that he was really thinking about leaving the football club after being raised here and the feelings he’s built towards the club.
“Once you understand his position, you try to explain what you want to do, how involved he’s going to be in the project and how and then get the full commitment from the club and support. And Edu, who has done an incredible job as well.”
He was coyer on how he plans to use Balogun and whether a loan move next season might be on the cards.
“First of all we have to sign him,” he said. “Once we sign him, we go step by step and we’ll communicate with you guys what we’re doing.”
Good news to have Flo tied down. We’ll expect confirmation in the coming days.