Arsenal are still not willing to give Folarin Balogun a chance at centre-forward despite Gabriel Jesus being out injured, as Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor believes they will demand a fee in excess of £40m for his exit.
Balogun enjoyed a 21-goal campaign for Stade de Reims last season, though he still returned to north London no further up Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Arsenal transfer news – Folarin Balogun
Balogun’s goalscoring exploits in Ligue 1 had piqued the interest of Inter Milan to the extent where they tabled a proposal, though it was quite obviously short of Arsenal’s expectations, according to reports.
Despite considering Balogun as their top striker priority, Arsenal’s steep valuation made the Serie A giants turn their attentions to West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca instead, per The Metro.
As a result of the snubbed bid, former CBS reporter Ben Jacobs has claimed that Balogun has pleaded with his current employers to drop his asking price after Inter felt £45m was out of reach.
Per The Athletic, the two-cap United States international refuses to spend the 2023/24 as an eternal substitute and has also told the club he refuses to embark on another season-long loan.
He is not without his potential suitors, though, as Jacobs has also reported that a host of Premier League clubs have made enquiries about his signature, which means a move away could still be on the cards for the goal-getting 22-year-old.
What did Ryan Taylor say about Arsenal and Folarin Balogun?
Speaking exclusively to GIVEMESPORT, he said: “The player we haven’t mentioned that is actually key to this is Folarin Balogun. The fact that Gabriel Jesus is injured would, from the outside looking in, probably be a bit of an opening of the door for him to maybe prove his worth and get into the team.
“But Mikel Arteta says that the plan hasn’t changed for him, and from what I understand Arsenal are open to permanent offers for Balogun. And they’re not going to command a cheap fee, it’s going to be upwards of £40m.
“Ultimately, I think, if they don’t receive that money, I think he’ll stay at the club, but it’s a situation where he’s not going to be playing football. He’s not really keen on another loan, but Balogun is 100 percent a player to watch in the final weeks of the window.
“I expect potentially something to happen, a club to come in for him, but the figures being quoted at the moment are just too steep.”
What next for Arsenal?
Arsenal are looking to rival their current No.1 Aaron Ramsdale with the arrival of Spanish goalkeeper David Raya, although The Athletic claim their opening offer is expected to be rejected.
The report suggests the money offered was slightly under what Brentford are demanding, but both parties will continue negotiating over a deal.
Meanwhile, according to Football Transfers, the north Londoners have lodged an interest in signing Napoli’s talismanic Khvicha Kvaratskhelia but understand that his hefty price tag could hinder a deal coming to fruition.
The 22-year-old Georgian, who registered 14 goals and 17 assists across all competitions last season, would command an eye-watering fee but could elevate Mikel Arteta’s side to the next level.
Arsenal’s 2023/24 campaign begins on Saturday 12 August as they host Nottingham Forest, but Arteta will continue to delve into the market as a means of bettering their chances of domestic success this term, especially as they so narrowly missed out last time out.