Arsenal have deemed Folarain Balogun surplus to requirements

 

Arsenal are set to land the most sizable fee of Edu’s reign as the club’s sporting director with Monaco prepared to pay £40million to sign Folarin Balogun.

The Ligue 1 side have agreed a fee with the Gunners to sign the USA international who thrived in France last season while on loan with Reims.

Balogun returned to his parent club earlier this summer, hoping to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s first team plans.

But, with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, as well as summer signing Kai Havertz ahead of him in the pecking order, Balogun’s hopes of regular first team football were remote.

The 22-year-old hardly featured in pre-season and has, on occasion, trained away from the first team squad in recent weeks with Arteta keen to trim his bloated roster of players.

Chelsea and Tottenham have registered an interest in a player who scored 21 times last season but, according to the Daily Mail, Balogun has little interest at this stage in joining a Premier League rival.

Arsenal would only have entertained the possibility of selling the Hale End academy graduate for a much larger fee than the one they are set to receive from Monaco.

And, despite Chelsea’s obvious need for a new forward following the long-term injury sustained by Christopher Nkunku, the Blues will look elsewhere in their search for a new striker.

‘It is a difficult situation because we had two strikers in Nkunku and Broja but they are injured,’ said Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino ahead of tonight’s game against Luton Town.

‘It is not easy in this moment to find the right profile. We are in the process, working to see if we can add some players in this area.

‘But it is a job that is not easy for the club. For sure, they are working really hard to add some players.

‘If it is not possible, we need to wait until Nkunku and Broja will be ready and we have the help of Mason [Burstow].’

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