Folarin Balogun close to agreeing Arsenal exit

Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club ahead of leaving the Gunners on a free transfer next summer.

One of the more exciting talents in the Arsenal academy, 19-year-old Balogun was tipped to leave the club last summer as he entered the final year of his contract, but Mikel Arteta hoped to convince the striker to stay.

Balogun has just six months left on his deal | Jack Thomas/Getty Images

Balogun has been handed five appearances for the first team this season, bagging two goals and an assist in four Europa League appearances, but The Athletic state that the teenager has not been convinced to extend his stay at the club.

He has failed to find an agreement with Arsenal and is instead close to putting pen to paper on a pre-contract agreement to move overseas on a free transfer once his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Balogun and his representatives were left unimpressed with the terms on offer at the Emirates Stadium, believing Arsenal did not back up what they said publicly about wanting to keep the striker.

Arteta had hoped to keep Balogun | Pool/Getty Images

There are also concerns about his standing in the first team. Despite Arsenal's struggles in the league earlier in the season, Balogun is yet to even make a Premier League squad and there are fears that his career may stall if he remains at the Emirates.

Arteta recently hit out at Balogun's agent, questioning whether they were actually acting in the player's best interests.

“You need three parties to make a deal,” he said (via Goal). “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. I’m not saying he’s stopping, it’s 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.

“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 and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”

In terms of potential landing spots for Balogun, no teams are mentioned specifically, but the move overseas means suitors like Liverpool and Southampton have obviously missed out.

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Source : 90min