Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media ahead of his side’s FA Cup clash against Newcastle United this weekend.
Transfers were predictably the key topic in the Arsenal boss’ presser today. Arteta discussed a number of issues, but the most important one was arguably regarding Folarin Balogun’s future.
The teenager has less than six months left on his contract. Arsenal have been trying really hard to extend his deal, but there has been no breakthrough.
Balogun has shown his quality with the senior squad already. The youngster has two goals and an assist to his name in just 61 minutes of action in the Europa League this season. That is a stunning return for someone of his age.
Arteta was asked about the striker’s future and the Arsenal boss claimed that both the player and the club want him to stay. However, he hinted that Balogun’s agent is the reason why things have been so complicated.
He told Football London: “The club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
How many times have we seen an agent push a player out of a club. A phenomenal talent like Balogun will not be short of suitors, and as a free-agent in the summer, the offers that will come his way will be a lot more lucrative than the deal Arsenal are offering.
A lucrative deal for Balogun means it is a lucrative deal for the agent as well. That makes it a no-brainer for his representatives to push for a move away from the Emirates, and there is very little we can do about it.
Arteta and Edu have to get Balogun in a room and have a straight conversation with him. If that isn’t enough to convince him, nothing else will be.