Folarin Balogun is in high demand after a sensational loan spell, and Arsenal may well cash in on him this summer.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Chelsea have opened talks with the striker’s agent with a view of bringing him to Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues may well face competition from the likes of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Monaco, Marseille, and RB Leipzig.

Balogun has made it clear he wants to maintain the momentum he gathered as a regular starter during his loan spell with Reims, and Arteta is unlikely to be able to offer the 22-year-old the number of starts he’d want at the Emirates Stadium. Following a 21 goal campaign in Ligue 1, the American’s stock is higher than ever before, so it makes sense for the Gunners to let the forward go in exchange for a hefty fee in this transfer window.

However, the North London club must be pragmatic, rather than simply selling to the highest bidder no matter what.

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Anywhere but Chelsea for Balogun

Even if Chelsea offer a larger fee than any other interested party, Arsenal cannot allow Balogun to join their London rivals. Even though the Blues had a poor campaign last out, they may well challenge the Gunners for a top four position this season. Arteta simply cannot sanction a move that will boost their chances of catching Arsenal.

Whilst there are no guarantees that Balogun will be able to bring his prolific form from France with him to the Premier League, the USA international represents an exciting talent for the future, and not someone who Arsenal should deliver straight to a rival. Arsenal should do all they can to ensure Balogun joins a club on the continent, where his departure is unlikely to come back to haunt them.

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