Arsenal have reopened the negotiations with Folarin Balogun over a new contract, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
In January this year, the Gunners reportedly rejected a £5 million offer for his services from Brentford and were discussing fresh terms with him. However, no progress had been made by June and the 19-year-old was said to be keen to move on from the club. The talks were then brought to a halt, after he reportedly rejected all offers, and Arsenal felt compelled to start listening to suitable offers in order to avoid the prospect of letting him go for free when his current deal expires next summer. Sheffield United are also said to have had a bid turned down during the summer transfer window, with manager Chris Wilder openly speaking about the Blades’ desire for Balogun.
Apparently, it was fear of insufficient game-time which led the youngster to believe his development would be best served elsewhere. However, it seems Mikel Arteta has gotten involved by expressing his desire for the club to try harder and keep hold of the talented striker.
Balogun netted 38 goals in 41 appearances while at Under-18 level, and has so far bagged 15 in 40 for the Under-23 side. He was given his first-team debut in the Europa League win over Dundalk, replacing Eddie Nketiah with 16 minutes to go and the score already at 3-0.
The talks over a new contract have been restarted, but it is still by no means certain he will be signing one. Being able to talk to potential suitors from the turn of the year, he is likely to give the matter serious consideration.