A saga that has rumbled on for longer than ever anticipated and ever should have been allowed to, Folarin Balogun’s future at Arsenal looks to have been finalised.
The striker has been continuously featuring in the headlines for the past 12 months, as club and player have been locked in contract negotiations with no solution yet found extend his time in north London.
Folarin Balogun‘s deal expires at the end of the season, meaning he has been free to speak to clubs across Europe since January. If he finds the right suitor he can strike a pre-contract agreement, with talks having been ongoing since the beginning of the year.
Parallel to that has been Arsenal pushing to keep the 19-year-old. Issues have arisen regarding Balogun’s supposed path to the first team, with the fear being from his camp that if he does pen fresh terms he will not be granted the playing time he believes someone of his quality warrants.
Mikel Arteta has regularly spoken in public about his confidence in an amicable solution being met, even as recently as the week before Burnley stating that they’re edging closer to an agreement.
Arsenal hopes of Folarin Balogun contract extension suffer fatal blow amid clearout of Under-23 squad
“I think I am pretty positive about it and every time I spoke to him, he mentions the same thing, that he’s determined to stay here and he wants to stay here,” Arteta said. “He has some really positive conversations with his agent as well and Edu is in charge of that.
“He’s been spending a lot of time and energy to make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house, and what we can guarantee is that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.”
Yet to make a senior start for the Gunners, Balogun has nonetheless made a huge impression during his dabbles in the Europa League this season, averaging a goal every 31 minutes on top of netting seven in 14 Premier League 2 outings.
As the positivity began to grow internally, there has been a fatal blow in discussions.