Folarin Balogun close to quitting Arsenal on free transfer and signing pre-contract with foreign club amid Arteta plea

FOLARIN BALOGUN is reportedly close to signing for a team abroad despite Mikel Arteta's plea for the Arsenal striker to sign a new contract.

With his deal up at the end of the season, the 19-year-old is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of England.

According to The Athletic, Balogun is on the verge of agreeing a move away from the Gunners in the summer.

Playing time is thought to be the youngster's reason for leaving North London, and the club he first joined at the age of eight.

Arteta is yet to hand Balogun his full debut in the senior team, with just five outings off the bench in cup competitions this season.

Fans have been impressed by the glimpses of the striker, who has scored twice in Europa League runouts.

Speaking on Thursday, the Gunners boss insisted there is a clear path to the first-team for Balogun.

But he claimed the player's agent is obstructing negotiations over a new contract.


Arteta told reporters: "You need three parties to make a deal.

"For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I'm not sure about the agent."

When pressed on whether Balogun's agent is behind the stalemate, Arteta insisted the players' best interest will be served by keeping him at the club.

The manager added: "I'm not saying he's stopping [the deal].

"I'm saying that we need to find an agreement with him.

"We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.

We are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same.

"I'm telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same.

"They defend the same interests, which is the players' interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us."

Liverpool, Brentford and Sheffield United have previously been linked with Balogun, as well as Championship Swansea in a potential loan deal.

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