Arsenal ‘set sights on’ £30m PL ace as they set asking price for ‘sub-standard’ striker

Arsenal have set their asking price for Folarin Balogun, and could replace him with an in-form Premier League striker.

Balogun has enjoyed a standout season on loan at French club Reims this term, scoring 19 goals in all competitions.

That’s inevitably led to interest in his services from other clubs ahead of next season, and Balogun has made it clear he does not want to be sitting on the bench if he returns to the Emirates.

Asked what his future holds last month, Balogun replied: “Contractually I have to go back [to Arsenal].

“Because the loan [with Reims] was only for one year so that was always the agreement. But I wouldn’t, um, I’m not sure what is going to happen in the future. A lot could happen in football, a lot could change, and it just depends on the conversations we have between me and the club in the summer, and we’ll see what happens.”

“Yeah I mean there’s no door that’s closed,” he added. “Of course I have had a good year here and to a lot of people it makes sense for me to come back here. So yeah I mean I don’t know what the future will bring.”

According to French outlet L’Equipe, the Gunners would be open to letting Balogun move on if the right offer arrived, and the club hierarchy are said to have set a €30m (£26.8m) asking price for the 21-year-old.

And instead of bringing Balogun back, Arsenal could make a move for Ollie Watkins, who’s on fire for Aston Villa under Unai Emery.

Football Insider claim the Gunners have ‘set sights on’ the 27-year-old as they monitor his situation amid contract renewal talks with Villa.

The England international – valued by Transfermarkt at £30m – earns a reported £75,000-a-week on his deal which runs until June 2025, but Emery is keen to reward him with a bumper new deal.

Gabby Agbonlahor reckons Arsenal need a “proven striker” to compete with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, and Balogun is not of the required “standard”.

When asked if Balogun should move on this summer, Agbonlahor said: “I think so.

“He’s done well in France, but I don’t think he’s Arsenal standard.

“They’re going to be in the Champions League next season, they need another proven striker to compete with Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus.

“I don’t think Arsenal would use him next season if he came back.

“Him scoring goals in France has helped the club. Now they can put him up for sale and name their price.

“It’s definitely a sale waiting for Arsenal to make.”

READ MORE: Ollie Watkins: Villa must resist Big Six transfer calls with ceiling under Unai Emery not yet in view

Source link

Leave a Reply