Inter Milan are now set to speak with Arsenal in the coming days to finalise the transfer of Folarin Balogun after learning of the USA striker’s request for his salary at San Siro.
That is according to CalcioMercatoWeb, which notes that Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio is ready to make Arsenal an indispensable bid for Balogun. The Nerazzurri’s manager, Simone Inzaghi, has asked for another forward and views the 22-year-old as their top target.
Balogun appeals to the Serie A side for a number of reasons as Inzaghi now looks to replace Romelu Lukaku. The Hale End product has captivated the San Siro hierarchy after his superb season on loan at Stade de Reims. He scored 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 games through 2022/23.
Folarin Balogun has now made Inter Milan his salary request
Ausilio has been patient in his approach, though, having also tried to bring Atletico Madrid’s valuation of Alvaro Morata down. But Inter Milan are now willing to pay Arsenal’s valuation in full to secure Balogun’s transfer. They will also approach the Gunners in the coming days.
Inter Milan accept that there are no alternatives but to pay Arsenal’s price tag and to please Balogun’s entourage. The Arsenal academy product has requested a salary of €6m-a-year gross (£99k-a-week) to move to San Siro. While Inter Milan fear rival suitors making moves.
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Ausilio will intensify Inter Milan’s negotiations with Arsenal as they fear further interest will increase an already strong price tag. The Gunners are asking for around €50-60m (£43-51m) to sell the attacker. It is more than the Nerazzurri have so far been open to spending.
Inter Milan must improve their offer for a transfer with Arsenal
Journalist Chris Wheatley recently suggested that Inter Milan were preparing a loan-to-buy offer for Balogun’s transfer from Arsenal. Ausilio was aiming to pay €5m (£4.5m) to hire the striker for the 2023/24 term. The deal would feature an obligation to buy for €35m (£30m).
Arsenal can use Inter Milan’s desperation to demand their asking price. Even if Mikel Arteta – who has called Balogun ‘incredible’ before – explained after Arsenal’s pre-season friendly with Barcelona that the attacker had to sit out their match in Los Angeles with a foot injury.