Chelsea have now spoken to Folarin Balogun about a potential transfer from Arsenal but could have to rival interest at Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

That is according to Get French Football News, which reports that Chelsea have started talks directly with Balogun. Discussions between the Stamford Bridge natives and the 22-year-old are still at a very early stage. But the Blues are interested in a surprise transfer from Arsenal.

The west London side are exploring taking Balogun away from Emirates Stadium as Mauricio Pochettino’s attention now turns to forwards. Chelsea have just secured deals to improve his midfield with the arrivals of Moises Caicedo from Brighton and Southampton’s Romeu Lavia.

Chelsea transfer target Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun in action against MLS All-Stars
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Why Pele Is Overrated.

Chelsea approach Balogun as Pochettino eyes a transfer with Arsenal

Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth first credited Chelsea with an interest in a transfer from Arsenal for Balogun. The journalist noted on Friday that the Blues hold ‘real’ interest but are yet to submit a bid. While AS Monaco are still preparing an improved offer for the USA gem.

Monaco are eager to take Balogun back to Ligue 1 after he impressed on loan with Stade de Reims last season. The New York City native scored 21 goals in 37 French top-flight games in 2022/23. But he remains behind Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in Mikel Arteta’s attack.

Chelsea transfer target Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun in action against MLS All-Stars
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Balogun could spark a London-wide bidding war with Tottenham keen

Arsenal have already turned down a €40m (£34m) offer from Monaco for Balogun’s transfer, per TuttoMercatoWEB. The Gunners are looking to make €50m (£43m) to let their academy graduate leave north London. He has only scored two goals in 10 senior outings for the club.

Yet the two-cap talent’s form for Reims, where coach Will Still called Balogun ‘unbelievable’, could spark a London-wide bidding war. Gazzetta dello Sport has suggested that Tottenham are exploring Balogun to replace Harry Kane in an extremely unlikely transfer from Arsenal.

Chelsea transfer target Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun in action during MLS All-Star Skills Challenge
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The bitter north London rivals rarely sign players who represented the other club, especially in a direct move. Arsenal can also set Tottenham, and now Chelsea, a greater asking price as Fulham are interested in Balogun’s transfer if Aleksandar Mitrovic leaves, per the Daily Mail.

While Get French Football News also reported recently that West Ham have sought to agree provisional personal terms with Balogun. But he held off on accepting David Moyes’ offer in favour of moving abroad. The USMNT gem also prioritised Inter Milan’s interest to RC Lens’.

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