Arsenal are set for a fresh fight to keep Folarin Balogun with Inter Milan exploring the striker’s transfer after dropping their interest in a return for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku.
That is according to Corrie della Sera, which reports that Inter Milan have given up any hope for Lukaku’s transfer. The Serie A side were aiming to finalise an agreement with Chelsea for his return to San Siro. But the Belgian has now stopped responding to the Nerazzurri’s calls.
Lukaku has gone cold on Inter Milan following his season back at the Nerazzurri on loan last term. Sebastien Ledure, the 30-year-old’s lawyer, has also stopped responding to the team’s attempts to debate the deal. Even though Inter Milan had made Chelsea a €35m (£30m) bid.
Lukaku’s sudden transfer U-turn forces Inter Milan into a re-think
Lukaku and Ledure have infuriated Inter Milan with their sudden cold shoulder following the pair also speaking to Juventus. The Bianconeri have also made Chelsea a €37.5m (£32m), plus €2.5m (£2m) in add-ons, offer. Yet the Turin side’s bid hinges on selling Dusan Vlahovic.
The sudden U-turn by Lukaku has left Inter Milan scurrying to advance their interest in other strikers, including a transfer from Arsenal for Balogun. Nerazzurri chiefs know the USA talent can leave Emirates Stadium for €40m (£34m). But he is also on the radar of rivals, AC Milan.
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Inter chairman Giuseppe Marotta has all the information necessary to assess a transfer from Arsenal for Balogun. The 22-year-old has piqued the Nerazzurri chief’s interest after scoring 22 goals in 39 games while on loan in France to Stade de Reims during the 2022/23 season.
Arsenal are using vast interest to set their price tag for Balogun
Balogun, who Mikel Arteta called ‘special’ in February, also only has two years remaining on his contract in north London. Yet interest from throughout Europe has let the Gunners set a hefty price tag. The Daily Mail noted earlier in July that Emirates Stadium chiefs want £50m.
Arsenal have used interest from AC Milan, Inter Milan, Marseille, Monaco and RB Leipzig to set their asking price. Yet the £35m price tag The Sun reported this June was enough to put Crystal Palace and RB Leipzig off any interest. Both clubs began to explore alternative deals.
Inter Milan now stepping forward after Lukaku’s U-turn and agreeing to terms with Arsenal would see the Nerazzurri deal AC Milan a heavy blow in the transfer window, too. Gianluca Di Marzio reported earlier in the week that the American is a ‘dream’ target for the Rossoneri.