Arsenal ‘set Balogun price tag’ as Arteta makes decision on striker transfer

Arsenal have reportedly set their price tag for Folarin Balogun. It is claimed Mikel Arteta is ready to listen to offers for the striker of at least £26million, with AC Milan ready to make their move.

Balogun has had a successful season on loan at Reims in France. He scored his 20th Ligue 1 goal of the campaign in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Angers.

It has been his first full campaign as a regular in senior football after a mixed loan spell in the second half of last season at Middlesbrough. Balogun has showcased the goalscoring prowess he previously had at youth level for both Arsenal and England.

Arteta felt it was best for the player’s development to let him out for the entirety of this campaign. But it appears he may have played his final game for the Gunners.

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Italian outlet Calcio Mercato claims AC Milan have made Balogun their top striker target this summer. Milan will have an initial budget of around £43.4m (€50m) for new signings.

Most of that will be reserved for signing a striker. The report claims Arsenal do not view Balogun as non-transferable and are in fact willing to listen to offers.

Arsenal value Balogun at a minimum of £26m, with just two years remaining on his contract at the Emirates. Calcio Mercato claims Milan want to hold talks with the player’s representatives before the end of the season.

However, there is set to be competition for his signature. Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig are also hoping to sign Balogun this summer.

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Balogun, who pledged his allegiance to play for the USA last week, came through the academy at Arsenal after joining at the age of eight. He made his first-team debut as a substitute against Dundalk in the Europa League in October 2020.

Overall he has made 10 appearances for Arsenal, scoring two goals. However, he would likely still be further behind Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order next season.

Earlier this year, Arteta admitted his delight at seeing Balogun succeed in France. He said: “I’m so happy for him. He’s a boy that has a really clear idea of what he wants to do with his career. He’s really ambitious, really committed and really brave.

“I’m really happy for him because he deserves what he’s getting. When you look at the numbers and what he is doing, it’s just incredible. It’s very rare to see that.”

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