Arsenal have dismissed a bid for Folarin Balogun from Inter Milan.
As reported by Italian outlet Sportmediaset, Inter Milan consider Folarin their top target to replace Romelu Lukaku, and have had a £30 million bid rejected by Arsenal. However, the Italian club may well make another offer for the American striker, as it is increasingly clear that he isn’t in Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Balogun has already stated that he wants to carry on being a regular starter this season. After his fine loan spell with Reims in Ligue 1, the 22-year-old doesn’t want to go back to having a bit-part role. He has also expressed interest in joining Chelsea.
In 39 appearances for the French club, Balogun scored 22 goals and proved himself capable of leading the line. Arteta was full of praise for the on-loan youngster, labelling him “special.” However, he would remain behind the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium. Leandro Trossard, Kai Havertz and Gabriel Martinelli can also deputise up front if required.
A move to Inter Milan would be a fantastic opportunity for Balogun. However, the Gunners must ensure that they get the best price possible for the 2-cap USA international.
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Arsenal need to improve their sales record
Arsenal’s ability as a selling club has been questioned in the past. Too often, the north London outfit have let players go for below market rates. The record sale in the club’s history came in 2017, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool for an initial £35 million.
Since then, market value rates have increased vastly. There has been huge inflation, which other clubs have taken advantage of, offloading players for relatively massive fees. Arsenal have struggled in this regard. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka, Emiliano Martinez, Bernd Leno, Jack Wilshere, and Joe Willock have left the club since Oxlade-Chamberlain. Many were allowed to go on free transfers, and none came close to fetching as much as Oxlade-Chamberlain did.
Arsenal have said they want £50 million for Balogun. Sporting director Edu needs to make sure they get it. The Brazilian has impressed with his ability to pick up smart signings, but that is only half of his job.
It’s time Arsenal received a new record sale. They’ve spent big this summer, so need to recoup some funds. Balogun’s stock is higher than ever. The Gunners need to drive a hard bargain and ensure their demands are met.