Inter Milan are now primed to table Arsenal a bid for the transfer of Folarin Balogun to San Siro after missing out on Gianluca Scamacca of West Ham United to rival Atalanta.
That is according to Calciomercato, which reports that Inter Milan have walked away from a move for Scamacca. The Nerazzurri had made West Ham an offer for the 24-year-old but he has decided to join Atalanta. The Hammers also prefer La Dea’s proposed €30m (£26m) bid.
Inter Milan were aiming to pay West Ham up to €26m (£22.5m), including add-ons, for their Italy international. But Atalanta have usurped their offer and the Nerazzurri will not contest any bidding war. So, Inter Milan have drawn up an offer for Balogun’s transfer from Arsenal.
Inter Milan are ready to make Arsenal an offer for Folarin Balogun
Balogun has always been Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio’s top target over options like Scamacca, Alvaro Morata or Beto. But Arsenal’s asking price is far more than the Serie A side wants to pay. Ausilio is only looking to offer the Gunners €35m (£30m) for Balogun now.
Ausilio has convinced Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi to sign off on Balogun’s transfer from Arsenal as the upsides outweigh the costs. The Nerazzurri firmly believe the 22-year-old is a potential ‘champion of the future’. They also view the USMNT ace as a future-proof signing.
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Given Balogun’s age and international breakthrough for the USA in June, Inter Milan believe the Arsenal academy product is the most saleable of any of Ausilio’s targets for the next few years. Thus, while the costs would be high this summer, he should be a sensible investment.
The USMNT gem wants the Gunners to lower their transfer fee
Inter Milan had targeted Scamacca before West Ham decided to grant a transfer to Atalanta as Arsenal priced them out of signing Balogun. Ryan Taylor reported in July that the Gunners want £45-50m for the forward. So, there remains some considerable distance to any switch.
Balogun could help Inter Milan, however. Ben Jacobs has suggested that Balogun has asked Arsenal to lower their request to not be priced out of a transfer. It is extremely unlikely that the Gunners slash £15-20m off their price tag, though, after his excellent season last term.
Arsenal can demand a big fee for Balogun given the exact same reasons why Inter Milan are targeting his transfer. He is still only 22, is now a senior international and he scored 21 goals in 37 appearances in Ligue 1 whilst on loan with Stade de Reims during the 2022/23 season.