Folarin Balogun is set to leave Arsenal for a foreign club in the summer.
A painfully drawn out saga that should never have reached this stage in the first place is no closer to a resolution, as Arsenal and Folarin Balogun remain unable to agree on the terms of a new contract.
With just six months left to run on his current deal, the air of uncertainty surrounding the striker’s future has turned into thick obscure fog. Now allowed to speak to other clubs and sign pre-contract agreement, the situation appears to have taken a turn for the worse.
If the 19-year-old had three years to run on his deal and wasn’t as exciting or well-rounded as he’s appeared to be to date, then fears wouldn’t be so severe. Arsenal have a track record of producing profitable talent from their academy, and Balogun would be another.
The striker, who’s barely featured for the senior side, has shown so much promise that the situation feels different. Add to that Eddie Nketiah struggling to push on in the first team and an ageing Alexandre Lacazette, and all of sudden Arsenal are short up front.
Mikel Arteta has once again offered some clarity on the matter, insisting both he and Balogun want the same end, with the sticking point proving to be something, or someone, else.
"“You need the three parties to make a deal,” he told the official Arsenal website. “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. “No, 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. “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 they defend the same interests, which is the players’ interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us."
So, it’s the agent. Quelle surprise.
Unsurprisingly, this is not he first time Arsenal have had trouble solving a contract situation with Balogun’s agent. And, in the latest developments, Balogun appears to be nearing the exit door.