Folarin Balogun has signed a new contract with Arsenal, set to keep him at the club until the summer of 2025. That is according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, who says the youngster turned down 15 different offers from other clubs to move as a free agent, the most lucrative one from Bayer Leverkusen, in order to stay with the Gunners. Manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu played a big part, putting in a strong effort to convince Balogun there’s a future for him at the Emirates. However, the official confirmation of the claims from the club is yet to come.
The 19-year-old striker is yet to make his Premier League debut, having only featured with the first team four times in the Europa League and once in the Carabao Cup. It was obviously the main reason behind his long reluctance to recommit his services to Arsenal with his old deal set to expire at the end of the season, giving him an opportunity to move elsewhere in search of regular first-team action.
It was reported about a month ago that the race for his signature was fierce, with Leverkusen and RB Leipzig ahead of every other suitor, and while Romano’s report confirms Leverkusen’s interest was as concrete as they come, he also says Leipzig were never really in it.
There has been talk about Arsenal’s interest in Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard with the attacking line set for rebuild in the summer, as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah enter the final year of their contracts. However, the Gunners apparently face fierce competition for the 23-year-old’s signature from Leicester City.
Had Balogun refused to sign a new contract and moved to another English club, Arsenal would still have been entitled to some compensation, but if he went to Germany, they would lose his talents for free.