Report: Balogun close to penning new Arsenal deal

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According to various outlets, Folarin Balogun is close to agreeing a new long-term contract at Arsenal.

The 19-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has been free to discuss a Bosman move with foreign clubs since January.

The likes of Stuttgart and RB Leipzig are thought to have made contact but after protracted negotiations, it appears Edu has finally persuaded the striker that he will get first team game time under Mikel Arteta.

The manager has been optimistic about getting a deal done for some time, despite the very real prospect of losing the Academy graduate for free.

In January, he said: “We’re trying to get something done. We want him to stay. We’re going step-by-step and he’s made some big steps in the last few months. He wasn’t even training and then he’s had a few good games for us. The steps are there in every way. We’re trying to keep him.”

Balogun has scored twice in five first team appearances this season and could compete with Gabriel Martinelli as the backup to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should the Gunners part ways with Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. The duo both enter the final year of their contracts this summer.

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Russ

Some positive news, splendid!

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Indeed, start him against Sheffield !! … How worse can it get

Heavenly Chapecoense

Him and Martinelli will start playing a lot after we crash out of Europa League. After, they fail, they always try to give fans a positive perspective of the future.

Man Manny

I am certain Arsenal will be in the semi final.

Ozzie

His agent has more confidence than I do about him getting more game time under Arteta.

BYOG

Flo and his agent have pushed very hard for assurances from Edu and Mikel over first-team involvement – as is their right. If this deal is wrapped up, the onus will be on him to prove all that pushing was justified.

Johnny 4 Hats

Next season should be about a transfer of power from Auba, Willian and Laca (hopefully they all won’t still be here next season) to Martinelli, Balogun and Saka.

Given the way our season has gone domestically, I really wish we’d blooded more of our youngsters and made plans to move our spluttering experienced players on.

I feel really let down by our 30+ players this season. They were supposed to be our rigidity. But they’ve proved to be our downfall.

Viv the 🐐

Thank you both for your comments. Before the season started, my personal goals of what to see from Arsenal was A) a styl of play and B) the integration of more young players. I’m not happy with both. Though Saka and ESR are now bonified first teamers, it could have seriously more. Just thinking about Reiss. And Willian was one of the worst signings in Europe for sure. Surely for a free. Now the weight on some of our youngsters has shifted to next year. For me one of Laca or Auba is “already” gone. Folarin will therefore surely be… Read more »

Johnny 2 Bad

It’s too early to give up on Auba. He’ll come good once we bring George G back! That’s who we need!

OnlyBeingHonest

There’s a skill to knowing when to sell and we’ve probably missed the boat (again) anyway

El Mintero

It’s funny that Arteta gets shit (rightly) for Willian but Wenger I was lauded for Auba and Laca who you also want rid…

Monty Sopp

Aubameyang wasn’t an Arsene signing. He was a Gazidis/Sanllehi/Mislintat signing.

Losing control of transfers was one of the things that precipitated his exit.

blink

Proof? lol Willian was not an Arteta signing then in that regard he was defo a Kia/Edu deal!

blink

Wenger had peak Auba & Laca, Along with Ozil. He still only managed an fa cup. Arteta has to clean up the mess that was left at his door.
William has been poor but tbf has still contributed more than ozil in his last 18 months.

Charles

I personally am excited to see which 35 year old Arteta signs to keep him out of the team.

Berlingoon

There are no assurances like this in contracts.

ClockEndRider

I’d be absolutely delighted if we could pull this off. this is somewhat mitigated by the timing after last night. I just hope this isn’t a planted story to take the spotlight off.
sorry to be so cynical.

Arsenalista

I hope this guy is worth it I really do.

Serpent

That’s probably Eddie gone then..?

SarcasmB0t

Wait, he’s still here?

Somebody tell Mikel!

Goonerink

I think it’s more than Eddie, I think Eddie laca/auba gone. Possibly all 3.

John

The idea of selling all of them, buying a top quality striker, and having Balogun and Martinelli as backups is actually starting to feel like something we should at least consider. Who would that striker be though, say we had 50 or so million to spend?

Daveo

The guy from Wolfsburg: Weghorst. He has been consistently banging in goals. >15 league goals in his last 4 seasons and he’s all but secured his team Champions league with 17 (and 7 assists) this year. Speaks perfect english too.

John

Excellent suggestion. Even so, we’d be gambling on him hitting the ground running in the PL.
Seems there are few easy and obvious ways out of our current mess…

Daveo

He is built perfectly for EPL success. Big. Mobile. Can finish with both feet and his head. He’s in his prime. He’d be as ready to make an immediate impact as anyone out there (that is realistic – i.e. not Haaland).

John

He’ll also be 29 this summer, though until then, he’s 28…

Viv the 🐐

Yeah he is quite a “unite you would say” though if he moves now, he would go somewhere with near time asperations. Don’t forget Wolfsburg is going to play CL too. All 3 of them gone in the summer would surprise me for sure. Nketiah and Laca/Auba for sure. Let’s see what happens. Though maybe your suggestion could be realistic, though with another striker at the helm. Probably. Hell, I would take Gabi as the main striker even now. A sign of desperation? Patson Daka might be a more realistic shout somehow. That is just the first name that comes… Read more »

Tanned arse

My preference would be martinelli too but we may need a new manager before that ever happens

blink

Martinelli is being eased by from injury but will get more chances next season. if he produces Arteta will play him. Same as he does with ESR & Saka

Vonnie

Still younger than Aubameyang and Lacazette, and he’s a beast.

Fezec

A move for Auba might be best for all parties at this stage.

Arteta is wrecking the guy asking him to play on the left.

Fabregooner

Who, in their right mind, would buy Auba now? Would need to pay him (more than) £350K a week.

DPK

I’m not so sure we would have a problem if we wanted to sell Auba. Firstly, i don’t believe it is 350k per week…but most importantly, he is guaranteed goals. It’s the biggest currency in football. I know he has had problems this season but in the last 2 seasons he scored 60 goals in a team which for long periods was struggling to create many chances at all. We might not get a large fee….. but a club to take on his wages ? Can easily see that happening.

Robin your Persie

if he’s guaranteed goals, then why are folks pushing to sell him. It’s muddled up thinking.

DPK

I’m not pushing to sell him at all. I’m just arguing against those saying we couldn’t sell him, if we chose to try to. Personally, no way would I try to sell him.

blink

I dont think auba will just sit out on a big contract here llke Ozil did.
As you say there would also likely be far more takers than for Ozil.
Fact is we had to pin him down to a deal rather than let him walk for free last summer at the time tbf.

Andy

it’s 250k a week including bonuses etc. there will be plenty of clubs willing to take a punt on auba banging goals in for them for a couple more seasons. he probably will too but we need money now and his all around game is not what arteta wants so happy to see him go and hope he does well elsewhere. balogun signing is a big news. he had plenty of other good options by all accounts.

blink

Auba used to be effective from the left. He has played there a lot throughout his career & its good to have a potent scorer from that position as well as a recognised striker.
Maybe its a bit harder for him to play on the left with the style Arteta wants tbf?

yen

I love the idea of Lukaku, although he’d be even more expensive than that.

Goonsquad

Odsonne Edouard looks pretty useful and probably wouldn’t cost fortunes.

DPK

As someone who’s ‘2nd team’ is Celtic, I would have a lot more doubts about Edouard than I would have had about KT. Lots of talent but his application is iffy

blink

If his application is iffy he is not gonna work here with Arteta unless his attitude changes.

Crash Fistfight

Anyone know anything about Patson Daka? Seems like everyone’s linked to him at the moment.

Deano

Not selling Auba no one will buy him or pay his wages. No one will buy Willian, we couldn’t even give him away again wages. However, I do believe he has been putting Laca in the shop window, but last two performances have just dropped his value significantly. His legs have gone, a bit like with willian last year, maybe some idiots aren’t paying attention and could through a three year deal at him. Who knows.

Just musing but going forward we may have no choice but to put faith in a young attack.

Tanned arse

The one I suspect we’ll sell is Pepe even though I think we’re yet to pay all the instalments. It’s clear the manager won’t play him in areas which give him opportunity to show his star quality(close to and inside the box) which is scoring goals and creating chances rather than standing out on the touchline most of the game like he’s a winger. Total waste of talent and a dereliction of a managers duty in getting the most out of the top talent and the tools at your disposal. I still think it’s possible he deliberately prevents players from… Read more »

Tumang

expect MA to sign a 30+ player out of contract somewhere and plonk him right and center ahead of him. MA has taken whatever joy was left after Emery. Just basically waiting on his sacking.

Ricky Martinelli

Alexander Isak

Tanned arse

It’s not possible to sell auba. Even on a free who would pay him £300k a week. Laca ain’t gonna budge unless he’s offered the wage he wants and no one will offer him that plus a transfer fee (we’ll have to do what I personally thought was obvious last season with auba and let him see out the last year). Eddie we should be prepared to take a low fee just as we should for anyone we don’t consider good enough. Low under priced fees may not feel great but it’s money in that we can use. Example and… Read more »

Lanre

Goodluck selling Auba on that wage we just put him on. I will settle for just moving Eddie and Laca on. And Arteta too while we at it..

El Mintero

And yet 12 months ago you were screaming at Arteta to sign up Auba for as long as he wanted to stay…people on here are fucking plastic espn mls clueless

Vincent Ives

Auba’s not going anywhere. I’d be stunned if he & Willian weren’t still with us two years from now. I doubt anyone will compete with those wages, and there is no chance we’ll see another purge like January’s. Still shocked that the owners gave the go ahead to pay off Ozil, Sokratis AND Mustafi.

Maul Person

Can’t lose all three. I’d say Auba stays out of those. So Auba, Balogun and Martinelli as the strike force going into the new season…

blink

I think 2 of them likely are gone. Auba will likely get another year or at least until next Jan to see if he can perform imho.

Chamakhyungpark

Let’s hope so. He’s nowhere near good enough for Arsenal

El Mintero

Good.

bobbyp

Good news. Especially so after last nights showing.

RockyRog58

Let’s hope Arteta plays him then ?

Cultured Determination

It depends on whether He’s one of arteta’s favoured players

backsakacrack

He’ll score 3 in a row, then he’ll play him every game until he breaks down

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

The club surely needed to say something positive after last night…

Biggles

You’re not suggesting that there’s an element of news management here, are you? I refuse to believe it!

Charles MMM

Not believing it is not an issue, it’s just that it’s still a possibility.

Zet

Best news in a long time for Arsenal.
Time to get rid of the expensive antiques. No disrespect, but they have not been performing.

Crash Fistfight

£200k/wk contract incoming

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

I wouldn’t think so… for that one needs to be close to 40s .. than 20s

Biggles

We usually pay that to players over-30, don’t we?

Karl

True, but I never understand that policy. It should be the most productive players in their prime getting the best pay.

Crash Fistfight

I thought it was directly proportional to how desperate we are

Sheldon

Great news. But it reeks of papering over the cracks.

Joy

If true it’s actually the complete opposite of papering over the cracks. This would be part of a rebuilding as opposed to a patch up job

Qwaliteee

The lad is a prospect, nothing more. An unproven entity in the Premiership.

It is a patch up job – and a pretty pathetic one too.

This club needs real change, not bread and circuses.

That means Arteta out and KSE out.

blink

We need to get rid of underperforming players & those who are not goods enough. We had to give away over 100m of wenger & Emery signings in Jan. Ozil, Musti & Sokratis. Non of them were up to it & Ozil had taken the piss for 2 years.
KSE needs to invest & we need the right players to get us back challenging for top 4.
Arteta aint the problem. The issues go far deeper.

Qwaliteee

Proof, we’re any needed, that not only do we require a new manager but also new ownership and administration.

Qwaliteee

*were

Alex Nagy

Hopefully if true and he signs, we may see him more involved in the closing stages of this season in the premier league. Rather blood Balogun and Martinelli now in the league than waste anymore time with Laca and co if they are moving on in the summer.

Biggles

At last … some good news (assuming he actually signs, of course). An obviously talented young player – the type that (particularly now) we can ill afford to let go if at all possible. I thought he’d probably leave given the stream of reports to this end so there must have been some hard work behind the scenes to turn things around. Well done all!

DPK

But but but…..wasn’t the narrative that Arteta was driving him out of the club ?😜

Good news if true!

SarcasmB0t

He must have seen our recent performances and realized there’s very little competition up front.

BongoGooner

Close like in pen over paper
Or close like laca vs gk?

David J M

So why hasn’t he be getting game time? Not even on the bench. Thought that he had already left as hadn’t heard any mention of him for months.

blink

Simple you cant play a kid who has not committed himself to the club.

Goonerink

Guessing Arteta has had enough with auba and laca.

I hope we sell them both promote balogun get in Aguero to replace auba and kick on with Mikel tiki taka defensive attacka football.

but right now a backup lb is key.

John

No to Aguero, an older, more injury prone fox in the box player than Auba is not the answer.

Biggles

Possibly but given Auba’s age and his wages it could be tricky to sell him if it comes to that. Laca has a year left on his contract I think (and he’s 30+) so what we’ll get for him will be interesting.

SarcasmB0t

Aguero? Wow, why not throw in Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo while we’re at it?

No more players over 30, please.

Public Elneny

Oh shit, didn’t see this one coming!

Good work

Can we get away with selling Laca without signing replacement now? I hope he gets some proper game time before the end of the season so we have a better idea

John

Hm. Apart from his quite impressive sub appearances in the EL, Balogun has 8 goals and three assists so far this season for the U-23s. He’s an incredible talent, but I’m not sure how much we should expect from him in the senior team yet.

Public Elneny

I think like most young talents he’ll be able to perform in short bursts but not consistently over a season I wouldn’t want him playing quite as often as Laca, so it would mean Auba and maybe Martinelli taking more minutes at CF. Not ideal because I think some games require CFs with better hold up play than those 2. But if saving on a striker allows us to get RB, CM & Odegaard/replacement properly sorted then I think it’s worth it I don’t think we’ve got much to lose by testing what level Balogun is at in our remaining… Read more »

karl

I really hope this means we’ll see more of him in the league with nothing to really lose of gain.

leon

Arteta clearly prefers strikers who cannot run or score goals when the clearest opportunities present themselves so I am not sure how Balogun fits in
People have criticised Nketiah and may be some of that is justified but when you have a manager who insists on playing Lacazette – Willian – Aubameyang despite all evidence pointing to the fact that it doesn’t work then what chance does Nketiah or even Martinelli (and Balogun) have?
The three youngsters will only get a chance once Arteta has gone – hopefully that will be very soon…

mjc1892

Nketiah has been atrocious whenever he’s played. Cash in on his England U21 record and fry and get something close to £15m for him. Not premier league standard.

Bleeding gums murphy

Could not agree more. Nketia has had every chance and proved he is very limited. I would not play him again and hope someone pays 15 million because of under 23 record. Would be a steal for us. Wish him well.

blink

Sadly Laca is our most complete striker. Auba has shown limited footballing ability to contribute outside goals so if these dry up he is a bit of a passenger. Eddie the same. Hopefully Balogun has a better all round game & can step up. I think the way the game has gone in recent years the strikers are expected/needed to contribute a lot more. I think the time of limited ‘goal scorers’ certainly at the top of the game at the moment are on the decline. may have a place as a sub? I cant think of too many at… Read more »

David C

Why would he want to stay? We are a mess. Must be an Arsenal fan….

North Bank Bob

Been saying for sometime this lad needs to pen a deal. He is far better than Nketiah and would be perfect to replace Laca when the time comes.

Rich

What do you base this off?

Nketiah has been far more prolific at youth level than Balogun

North Bank Bob

Watch the way they both play! Balogun far more attacking minded and has a far better pass rate. Nketiah has had it handed on a plate and failed in shining for us and his loan spells. Give Balogun the time and chance and he will prove he would be the better choice.

TomH

Cool! Lets hope we can pull in 30/35mill or so for Eddie and Laca.

Vincent Ives

I’d like to see more of Eddie in the last few games if only to drive his price back up to what it was last Summer. We turned down somewhere around £40m for he and Maitland-Niles, only for both to vanish from the squad entirely. I can only assume Reiss Nelson keyed Arteta’s car or something, weird that he didn’t go on loan but got bumped down to the reserves.

TomH

I dont want to see anymore of Eddie but…to try and pump up his price a bit, I see you logic. Just think its a bit too late for that.
I’ll take 15mill for him. Sure we probably could have got 20 last year but times have changed.
We need to sell to buy so the quicker we can get deals done the better for the coming window.

Think Eddie will make a good CF for another team. Good luck to him.

Biggles

You’re probably right there. We may well have to accept less this summer than last which will be the same for many (although not all) players on the market.

Biggles

Yes, I hope we get the most for any of the players we hope to sell, but I think we’ll have to wait and see what the transfer market looks like in the summer. Since last summer there has, in effect, been no matchday receipts for clubs so I doubt there will be too much spare cash about.

lovely_arse

Surprising and good!

Vonnie

This would be really good news, if Laca and Eddie are sold and Auba not a guaranteed starter there’s a huge opportunity for him. I think we’ll start seeing more of Gabi Martinelli too. Surely Mikel has realised he’s going to get fired with Auba, Laca and Willian. Gabi on the left, Saka on the right, Balogun through the middle with Smith Rowe and Azeez behind them could be a big part of the future. Keep them and grow them please Mikel.

Biggles

Not sure what you mean about “firing” Auba, Luca and Willian. How does that work? They’re all under contracts of varying lengths. We can certainly try to sell them – although a combination of age and salary will make that more tricky than it could have been. I guess we could buy them out of their contracts (as we did with some players in the January window) but that would be very expensive – look at Auba’s reported deal alone. Open to ideas, but simply saying “fire them” won’t actually get it done I’m afraid (if only).

Appels&Pere

“Surely Mikel has realised he’s going to get fired with Auba, Laca and Willian.”
He’s, not them.

Biggles

OK, but it would have been clearer if “playing” had been used instead of “with”, I think.

Qwaliteee

I agree.

Some people spend far too much time playing FIFA 21 for their own good.

zeNBed

Laca and Eddie out, Balogun in. No pressure lad!

Vincent Ives

This is great but assuming Laca and Eddie both move on you’d still hope we bring someone in. Martinelli’s still coming back from a long term injury, Pepe’s still promising but not consistent, and Auba’s misfired since the Spurs lateness debacle. Throw in the possibility of a long term injury to any of our forwards and we’d have a serious issue. Like I said though, this is properly good news and not something I expected.

Cranky Colin

Him and Azeez looked very good the little snippets I saw of them

Rich

Doesn’t seem like a smart move for the lad, the path is blocked, and we might have no European football next season

Hopefully we get him a loan move next season, where he can pick up 40 games

At some point young players need to start playing competitive football consistently

This season has been a waste for Nelson’s development

And we could have got both Nketiah + Balogun out in January to pick up 20 games somewhere

Public Elneny

Is his path blocked though? Laca and Nketiah seem to be on their way out, so that’s a lot of minutes opening up there. Auba is still likely to play a lot from the left, and Martinelli is yet to be blooded as a centre forward, if ever Even if Auba is shifted full time to CF when Laca leaves, as things stand Balogun is likely to be 1st backup to an ageing Auba for the next couple of seasons – that’s enough minutes for a player of his age and gives him a view to the starting spot too… Read more »

Rich

I have no idea what the plan is for Aubameyang? It’s not working for him on the left at the moment Nketiah has hardly played, and should probably look for a move in order to develop I’m assuming Martinelli will be our internal replacement for Lacazette, providing we can get him out this summer We might have no European football Loaning out Balogun might be our best bet and his, let him play consistent football in order to develop, either he comes back and plays, or we pump his value if he does well Sitting around as a bit part… Read more »

Biggles

Good points about loaning out Balogun. That said, given all the speculation around his future I wonder if he would have been open to staying with Arsenal only to be loaned out? Who knows. We’ll have to wait and see I think.

Francesc

Auba out

allezkev

Very positive news, now let’s get Taylor Hart signed up.

Beef

I have to say I didn’t see this coming. Hope we see him on the pitch before the end of season

Tumang

with a clueless manager like MA, I pity the boy. he will get to live his dream turning professional with his boyhood club then see his dreams evaporate in front of him.

Andy

the reason he signed the contract was arteta. why don’t you just give the man a break. sure he makes mistakes and he has some rough edges but that is what we bought into when we gave him the job.

some folks are never happy. i even saw a “fan” on one of the boards looking forward to being allowed back into the stadium so he could boo his own players! if your hobby makes you that unhappy maybe you should take up something else.

St.macca

Why back up?

Domi

I’d be much happier if we had Balogun and Martinelli fighting for the CF position next year. With Saka on RW, ESR centrally and Reiss on the left, playing inside forward as Saka does on the right. Odegaard would be great but it’s becoming a pipe dream, and Pepe could be in the mix as well. I’d rather give this forward line a run of ten PL games than any other, even Auba as CF, although we’re stuck with him in a way and should use him properly, only in a CF position. Willian and Laca can go, though with… Read more »

Gunner08

Thank god I thought we were gonna lose a real talent there. Nketiah has taken a rather large drop-off and laca is showing who he is as a player, a slow lazy player who does nothing but flop and get fouls. Which means he better expect some playing time next year.

Dan danaher

Well looking at our forward players last nite maybe give him a go there’s to many of these players on big wages and they have no pride in themselves nor the shirt bring in players like balagon that are eager to prove themselves can’t be any worse than I seen last nite.

allezkev

Maybe he’ll come off of the bench in Gdańsk and score the goal that wins us the cup?

Announce Bendtner

I don’t know what to think of our youth. It’s hard to put their talent into perspective. On the one hand ESR and Saka have been top performers and much better than experienced members. Then Odegard comes in and shows a different level of quality completely. Add to that Wilock and Maitland Niles maybe not being good enough for us. I’m left wondering whether Balogun will actually be like ESR / Saka or the level of Willock. I then wonder if ESR and Saka are potential world class or if the poor form of our experienced players makes them look… Read more »

blink

I think that is a fair point. ESR & Saka are imo a cut above our other youngsters. It certainly doesnt mean the rest of them are near good enough. People overhype kids especially Arsenal fans. I think Arteta will give you some chances regardless of age if you show you are good enough. Its down to the kids to take them. Apart from ESR & Saka the other young players have not shown they are at the level needed enough imo certainly in prem league. Martinelli has at times but is being nursed back after injury & we will… Read more »

MojoWillneny

Great news! Gives us more options this summer re. our underperforming senior strikers…

Adam

Part of me long for a big clean up and a future where we go with our academy players and other jungsters instead. Would a team with Tierney, Saliba, Gabriel, Amn, willock, esr, Saka, Martinelli and Balogun do significantly worse that a team with Luiz, Mari, belerin, Granit, Willian, Aubameyang and laca? At the moment I can have my doubt. We are 10th. Would that be any worse? At least you wouldn’t sit as a fan feeling that the players use playing at our club as an overpaid pension plan.

Torterrier

I’m looking forward to seeing him line up against Borehamwood pre-season.

Bryan

I didnt read up the story with how excited i am .😭😭😭plz bro do .am ill right now but if u sign i promise u ill fight to stay alive😭😭😭plz arsenal include azeez too

blink

Good news imo if confirmed. Lets be honest though we dont know if the kid is at the level required yet for a big prem club 1st team. Our main problem is we have some very good young players & some older ones now who have likely passed their peak. Young players will struggle at times & have dips no matter how much potential they have. Especially in a demanding season like this one. Saks is struggling a bit at the moment, he is still doing ok but its fair to say prob not at the level he was a… Read more »